Stella Meletopoulou’s "Origins"

NEKTARIA MARAYIANNI | Estia, 9 May 2022

HOW would our personal universe be, if we could create it ourselves from nothing at all, after a certain situation, whether negative or positive? On what foundations would it rest and what values would fortify it? Stella Meletopoulou presents her version of this necessity in the exhibition Origins, inviting the public to focus on the works and listen to their own origins, utilizing the retina of their soul.

The shades of colour that rule – blue and yellow- seem to make reference to charting sea depths or a section of the universe with constellations, at times with a panoramic view of a plethora of sunflowers or other yellow flowers, even in some cases a desert oases spread out few and far between, or maps with the web of a city. These two colours dominate both in the works on canvas and in the three-dimensional installations. We “read” them as rafts and versions of dream catchers, while the installation Universe IV (2022) gives the sensation of decorations that are formed of symbols and other geometric shapes that refer to fragments of celestial bodies and which have been created using materials such as bamboo, wood, cotton, wool, paper, while all the works shown include the use of acrylics and ink.

In Universe IV we can locate amongst much else the letter A, which we have also discerned in her painted works. Whether we approach it as the first letter of the alphabet, or as the first letter of words with particular significance – such as agape (love) and allelokatanoesi (mutual understanding) – it constitutes part of a beginning. In that beginning the creator includes a stalk of grain, a reference to the earth and to food.

Through the rules of association, however, the manner, in which it has been rendered, calls to mind leaves on a tree: they fall off the branches and move, dancing with the wind, until they fall once more and break under the footfalls of passers-by. A condition of fragility which, in any case, Meletopoulou’s work manages to convey, created as they are in an equally fragile period, that of social isolation due to the pandemic.

Details in her works, such as the life forms our retina manages to discern in the yellow or green background – fish, turtles, flowers, trees – underline, we would say, the need each of us has to find themselves in nature and how complete we feel each time we are there. In combination with the words we spontaneously phrase each time we encounter the words of the alphabet in her works, potentially confirming the significance of our origins, the transformative and adaptive ability we have to survive mentally and physically. All the while, concepts concerning continuity, sustainability, evolution and internal revolt are being constantly re-examined and analysed.

The exhibition, curated by Kostas Prapoglou, is held until May 14th at the Skoufa Gallery (Skoufa 4, Athens).