In Australia, I am Greek, In Greece I am Australian. For most of my life, I have known two countries. However, I spent the majority of it in Australia. Born and raised in Australia by immigrant parents, I could not help to have the feeling of not belonging embedded in my subconscious. It is quite difficult to be the child of immigrants, it is a deep feeling that cannot be expressed. It may have been my father’s words that “one day we would return to Greece”, to his country, his fatherland that evoked feelings of displacement. Feelings that the place that I was already living in, the environment that I was being raised in and the landscape that surrounded me was not the right place. This eliminated the environment from my mind, made me feel small against the enormous landscapes and direct environment that surrounded me. This emotion is something that I carried and carry with me for a very long time and now represent in this body of paintings. I believe that it is very important to understand that we are indeed very small against our surrounding landscapes. It is also important to be able to recognize the natural need of a human being to find a place to belong to, a place where there is no emotion of “no man’s land”.
In history no man’s land is a term for land that is not occupied or land that is under dispute between countries or areas of land that will not be occupied for the fear of uncertainty. Land known as no man’s land was not seeked out for ownership as it was considered a wasteland.
In my concept I am using the term “no man’s land” as a metaphor portraying my figures in search of land, a place to belong to, they are nomadic people. In history, the term nomadic is now a common metaphor for aimless wandering. Nomads are people that move from one place to another, rather than settling down in one location. In fact, the movement of traditional nomadic people is far from haphazard: it is both predetermined and systematic. Most nomads live in marginal areas like deserts, steppes and tundra, where mobility becomes a logical and efficient strategy for harvesting scarce resources spread unevenly across wide territories. My nomads are unsettled and alone searching for an identity of belonging. They wander through various landscapes, contemplating, searching and are detached from their surrounding environments.
Frozen moments captured, as did great German romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich (1774 – 1840) in his romantic yet intense melancholic paintings. Such as in “Monk by the Sea, 1809” and in “Wanderer above a sea of fog, 1818.” Friedrich’s landscapes are sentimental, with most of his figures painted as silhouettes; they are undemonstrative, contemplative in himself or herself. Nature’s sublimity is a constant in the theme of Friedrich’s pictures. Friedrich based all his scenes on nature studies and altered the effects by subtle spatial distortion. By raising or lowering the horizon, he is making the infinite into which the ‘rueckenfiguren’ are staring. In such a way, Friedrich is suggesting different responses to nature, stressing, that what you see before you is dependent upon what is within you.
My landscapes are an idea rather than a location. You will not find them wandering the mountains, the sea or even the city. They are a combination of photos from various landscapes from the surrounding environment and have been fused together to form a landscape that my figures can contemplate in. This is something, which I have found in common with Irish artist Elizabeth Magill (1959) who has also accomplished in her paintings. Such as in “Lost Horizon, 2004” and in “Causeway, 1998.” Magill marries landscapes and figures from different locations and produces a deep melancholic painting full of emotion and sentiment. The colors I paint could be seen as symbolic to the emotions I have felt. They are not really selected, but somehow choose themselves while I am painting. They tend to show deeper emotions that I am not even aware sometimes I have.
I do not recall having ever felt any other way about were I am or who I am. It is quite difficult to feel settled when you are not settled within yourself and the immediate environment that you live in. The constant moving we did when I was younger between the two countries obviously played its role on me, not allowing me to psychologically fit in and stand my ground. I am always looking around at people, especially immigrants who stand out as I did and wonder do they feel the same. Trying to fit in and be part of the crowd, something usually simple, but in the end strenuous and tiring. This body of work is dedicated to those who have been or have felt perhaps in “No Man’s Land”
Desolate, 50 x 50cm, acrylic on canvas, 05.08 sold
Within, 90 x 90cm, acrylic on canvas, 11.08
Getting on, 50 x 50cm, acrylic on canvas, March 2008 Sold
Washed out, 50 x 50cm, acrylic on canvas, 04.08 sold
Long-standing, 50 x 50cm, acrylic on canvas, 03.08 sold
In the dark, 50 x 50cm, acrylic on canvas, May 2008 sold
Betrayed, 50 x 50cm, acrylic on canvas, 03.08 sold
Overcast, 50 x 50cm, acrylic on canvas, March 2008 sold
Dead sound, 50 x 50cm, acrylic and pencil in canvas, 05.08 SOLD
Isolation, 50 x 50cm, acrylic on canvas, 12.07 SOLD
Absorbed, 90 x 90cm, acrylic on canvas, 05.09 sold
In Doubt, 90 x 90cm, acrylic on canvas, November 2008 sold
Detered, 90 x 90cm, acrylic on canvas, April 2009 sold
Oblivious, 90 x 90cm, acrylic on canvas, December 2008 sold
Estranged, 90 x 90cm, acrylic on canvas, January 2009 sold
El Grande Azul, 202 x 207cm, acrylic on canvas, 04.07 SOLD
Inner sound, 200 x 200cm, acrylic on canvas, 05.08 Sold
Passer-by, 208 x 208cm, acrylic on canvas, 11.07 SOLD
Rain within, 200 x 200cm, acrylic on canvas, 05.08 SOLD
Into the Forest, 200 x 200cm, acrylic on canvas, March 2008 sold
Without Destination, 195 x 195cm, acrylic on canvas, January 2008 sold
Departed, have left no address, 60 x 60cm, acrylic on canvas, June 2009 sold
Disordered, 40 x 40cm, acrylic on canvas, December 2009 sold
Don’t look back, 40 x 40cm, acrylic on canvas, December 2009 sold
Endless silence, 70 x 70cm, acrylic on canvas, November 2009 sold
Fading into silence, 90 x 90cm, acrylic on canvas, September 2009 sold
Leave it behind, 70 x 70cm, acrylic on canvas, November 2009 sold
Not certain, 60 x 60cm, acrylic on canvas, May 2009 sold
Look ahead, 70 x 70cm, acrylic on canvas, November 2009 sold
Promises made, 60 x 60cm, acrylic on canvas, May 2009 sold
Solo en sur, 90 x 90cm, acrylic on canvas, October 2009 sold
Taking a moment, 40 x 40cm, acrylic on canvas, December 2009 sold
Walk on by, 60 x 60cm, acrylic on canvas, June 2009 sold
There is always another walking beside you, 90 x 180cm, acrylic on canvas, May 2009 sold