Andrea, I've been so excited to talk to you about your work! It evokes so many emotions and feelings in me. What do you intend your work to say to the viewer?
My work is about my understanding of the world around me, the societies we live in and also my own self. Through my work, I am addressing the fear and anxiety faced by anyone stepping into adulthood and needing to fully sustain themselves as well as their art. The realisation that probably you will get a job you won't like and that there won't be enough time for art is scary.
The realisation that the majority of young artists will most likely get a job they won't like just for the sake of supporting themselves, and that there won't be enough time for art, is frightening. There is that creepy, inescapable thought; that inner relentless voice that we are not going to become what we have envisioned ourselves to be. Redefining our life goal, our reason for being, without compromising our values and while maintaining our self-respect is a matter of survival. Dreams and reality need to be sewn together to fumble our way forward.
Through the use of imaginary characters, it is easier for me to relate certain themes like my childhood dream to be a princess and how this gets manifested in my life as an adult today. I also try to relate the expectations imposed on women today in our societies, as mothers, sisters, girlfriends, wives, daughters, friends, artists, women artists, dreamers, creators and more. The work deals with charged emotional pathways and raw feelings, just as raw and blunt as the works look. Fluid colour dripping and staining the satin or canvas, roughly stuck satin instead of beautifully sewn. Dream versus reality.
"Dream versus reality"
Your colour palette is so incredibly poignant and punchy! What does the colour mean to you?
My colour palette as you can see is very bright and powerful. I like to use a lot of reds, oranges, yellows and purples. Each work is an explosion of colour and emotion that best describe memories and situations. Sometimes patterns appear, children’s rainbows, and pure primary colours. Also, sometimes I am painting directly on pastel coloured satin adding another coloured layer to the work. The works appear to be like crazy dreams or intense memories and the colours help relate that.
You're so accomplished. What would you say to an artist just starting out?
My most sincere advice would be to learn to listen to advice and criticism without taking it to heart. I am saying this from personal experience, and this is one of my own biggest challenges as well. I know how difficult it is to constantly be exposed to other people’s conflicting opinions especially while studying but really what matters is your own expression and sense of fulfilment and how your work enters the real world and forms connections with the viewer. Everyone likes different things, your work will be both hated and loved and it is okay.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I get my inspiration from everywhere even from places I don’t expect to or intend to get inspired from. These could be memories, dreams, funny thoughts, uncertainties, worries and anxieties. Also my characters came about after exploring Greek shadow puppet theatre and Greek figurines as well as my home, Cyprus.
And who is your favourite female artist working at the moment?
One of my favourite female artists is Scottish painter Moyna Flannigan, which is also one of the best teachers I ever had. Her work is about the representation of the female image through collage and painting.