Artist Statement for “Echoes of Absence”

I hate writing texts! But what If I could draw them?

Writing texts has been always giving me a hard time. I am a left hand writer and slightly dyslectic. As a child, while I was learning English I was constantly mixing b for d until my teacher said think of bed as an image of a real b-e-d! This was a revelation texts could become images and images I could remember. Maybe this is the reason that I, unconsciously but repeatedly, have been using letters, words, documents, as a way to approach or define the subject matter of my work.

The works in this show are an extension of the series entitled: “From Alpha to Omega”. A set of drawings consisted of one for each of the twenty four letters of the Greek alphabet. In every drawing a letter triggers a word, mostly an animals’ name. The images derive from collages, animals’ heads pop-out of clothes or even shoes. New hybrid creatures are formed taking their characteristics both from the human and the animal.

Some of the previous characters get a new life and start to form relationships, or even love affairs. Large format drawings, depicting life-size images of a man-Horse (Άλογο) and a Zebra-woman engaged posing like a couple in love.

Unfortunately, they are of different species. It is a love without issue, a love without progeny. It is as if there is a language differentiation. But is there a lack of communication? Or is it this kind of world that makes these primary feelings impossible? However those feelings existed, before the convention of language; before letters or words were invented.

The drawings are made with standard colour markers and a technique of dotted lines that serves to unify the image. Texts are used sometimes, as pattern, integrated into the clothes and other times they are laid over the image in a random fashion. Texts in many languages may be parts of poems by Paul Celan, Rainer Maria Rilke and Yiorgos Seferis, fragments of newspapers and Arab 60s trade promotional material.

Other works are inspired by frontispieces on vintage books, implying that all the works could be pages from a book. There is a common narrative that runs through all of them. We see a frog trying to kiss a cat that is distracted by some fish while a dog sits lonely bellow… Even through there are so many characters present in this ‘baroque’ composition there seems to be an absence of the most important thing, communication.

Through my work I try to investigate issues that deal with my own identity, my background, roles I have to play in my everyday life and how these are being formatted by my family, or imposed by society in general.

Anything can initiate a work, an old family photograph, a piece of literature, a study of psychology, an official document, a vivid memory. Even though during the process of making a piece I seek structure I also allow random incidents to interfere, and enhance my work.