Carwan Gallery is kicking off the new season this September with an exclusive collaboration with Greek design studio Objects of Common Interest, in Athens. The exhibition showcases Volax, a new collection of life-size lighting and seating pieces that marks the studio’s first ever use of wood.

The collection is named after a tiny village perched high on the wind-swept mountains of the Greek island of Tinos. Large, almost perfectly round grey rocks dot the plateau and slopes around the village, creating a stunning landscape that remains an unexplained geological phenomenon. The Volax collection is inspired by the irregular and bold volumes of these mysterious granite rocks, conveying through each unique object the aura and presence of the Cycladic landscape.

For the first time in Objects of Common Interest’s material language, the collection uses wood to introduce a highly tactile and sensual experience that transports the mesmerizing forms of Volax rocks into a domestic environment. Solid wood elements are carved into imperfect, rounded formations, often combined with rigid glowing acrylic volumes that emerge from within them or from the room elements in which they are placed.

The result is an engaging collection of centrepieces in the form of lighting and seating elements at various scales, whose perception changes as one moves around them. The Volax collection is a continuation of the studio’s ongoing interest in abstraction and exploration of forms and materials.

Installed across Carwan Gallery’s entire space like a sculptural garden, the exhibition Volax invites visitors to feel and explore each of the newly created objects from different angles, creating an almost immersive experience that plays with the perception of volume, material, transparency, weight and texture.

“In our work we have been interested in abstraction through the formal and material investigation, simplicity and juxtaposition, not of materials themselves, but of their characteristic properties guided by general notions and spatial qualities such as: solid and void, opaque and transparent, rigid and malleable, natural and artificial. Using the concepts of defamiliarization and illusion, we manipulate perception through spatial exercises and gestural forming, to create objects — mono-material or often by articulation of more than one — disguising their weight, softness, structure: a volume resting upon another, a light tube seemingly bent or a see-through inflatable appearing as solid and heavy.”

Objects of common interest is formed by Eleni Petaloti and Leonidas Trampoukis with the focus in creating still life installations and experiential environments and objects, demonstrating a fixation with materiality, concept and tangible spatial experiences. They aim to create projects that balance between the long lasting and the ephemeral projects in time and objects whose creative approach stems from an abstract realm enriched with layers of conceptual readings: moments of unfamiliar simplicity, sculptural and material self-expression, structural articulation.

Their work roots from an amalgamation of thinking and making between two diverse poles, Greece and New York, switching between the formal and the intuitive, embracing the handmade and the tactile, the experimental and the poetic. Eleni and Leonidas received their academic education at Aristotle University in Greece and Ecole Supérieure d’Architecture de La Villette in Paris and hold a masters degree in architecture from Columbia University in New York and are founding partners of sibling studio LOT office for architecture.