Nikolai Azariah

Nikolai Azariah is a Finnish-British video and installation artist whose practice delves into memory, place and poetry, navigating myth to make sense of the world. His recent work investigates salt as material and manifestation of poetic meaning. As a juncture of opposites and the essence of corporeality, salt is taken as both subject and framework for his practice. This is viewed through the lens of alchemy, a deeply material and spiritual practice, combining thoughts on the soul with experimentation in the laboratory. Restructuring, possibility and transformation are inherent in the alchemical processes he uses to uncover salt’s hidden virtues.

Delving into the alchemical significance of sal ammoniac (ammonium chloride) has led me to researching salmiakki, a salty confectionery I have treasured since childhood. Originally made for medicinal purposes in Nordic countries, it is a sweet which often evokes intense feelings and strong reactions from those unaccustomed to it. Salmiakki’s ubiquitousness and high cultural value in Finland allow for a rich and unique research opportunity. Flavour, texture and shape are what I want to experiment with during this residency, playing with absurd combinations and levels of salinity.