Invisible threads – “AXIA”
On the occasion of her exhibition “Invisible Threads”, currently on at Gallery Skoufa, which has drawn the attention of both the public and art critics, we asked visual artist Stella Meletopoulou to grant us an interview, so that we can get to know both her and her very significant oeuvre:
Your third solo exhibition is entitled “Invisible Threads”. What are the images, thoughts or experiences you are attempting to link to these threads?
There is no conscious intention to link something during the creative process. Everything comes to my mind and everything is carried out without any particular purpose.
A visitor to your exhibition, on seeing your work, realises that they can be interpreted in many different ways. What message are you seeking to transmit?
I leave viewers to see what they want in each of my works. Each of us is free before a work of Art and that is my most profound desire.
Are there invisible or visible threads that connect the artist with the recipient of a work of Art?
Both, but the most obvious ones are invisible. They define the game of connection.
What are your sources of inspiration and what force is it that propels you every time in your studio?
For me, painting is an internal process. The starting point for creativity is my emotional world and the experiences of everyday life. Certainly the work itself creates a chain of successive inspirations. It creates stimuli and brings up multiple questions, which I am called upon to decide about and to respond through what I make.
What messages do you receive from those who visit your exhibition? How does the public receive our work?
People (viewers) take away a sense of optimism and joy that is missing in the age in which we live. I also hear talk of a sense of freshness. Another comment is that it is contemporary work, which we usually encounter more of outside Greece.
Your first solo exhibition was entitled “Modern Aesthetics”, while the second, entitled “Human Geographies”, escaped from the world of architectural landscapes, and emphasised the human-centric element. The third, entitled “Invisible Threads”, presents a link between people, events and images. Is there a certain sequence in the concepts you seek to transmit, a certain continuity in your themes, or does the topic in each instance depend on the stimulus?
I don’t think that there is some deliberate conscious selection of a theme in each of my exhibitions. Certainly it marks a certain period / phase I am going through, which sparks my creativity. If I can judge from the result, I began with more external landscapes and find myself in more internal ones. What I mean is that my work used to focus on places, initially landscapes, and then moved on to human figures. That was work where I observed others, while now I mainly observe myself. I converse with my inner self.
What, in your opinion, is the relationship between Art and socio–political events? How much is it influenced by and how much can it influence what is happening?
Art is clearly influenced by socio-political events. Nietzsche said: “we turn our face to Art so that we are not crushed by reality”. Despite all this, Art influences the world, passing on messages of optimism or pessimism. It certainly offers something.
What are the difficulties for an artist today and how do you see the landscape of Art in Greece today?
If there is no financial support, an artist is called upon to cover other needs before creating. This is a major issue. Despite this, difficulties increase creativity and artists always create, irrespective of external conditions.
Although from your first solo exhibition you have drawn the attention of both the public and the experts, your exhibitions are few in number. Is this a conscious choice?
It isn’t a matter of choice. I follow my internal voice honestly.
What is your vision for the future?
To evolve and to create.