Iliana Theodoropoulou

Advent reminds me of my years in Berlin. We don’t have this tradition in Greece. The four candles, the four Sundays, waiting for Christmas. Coming from the south of Europe it was very interesting for me to participate in the preparations and traditions of a northern country. I thought that this project would make me travel back in time, 20 years ago, the end of the 90’s, in Berlin right after the unification. At the moment my home-studio is located on the north of Athens, far away from the city centre. I always lived in a big and busy city, Athens, London or Berlin. The experience of urban life inevitably flows into my work. It happens consciously and unconsciously. From the beginning I decided that I would use an A4 paper and improvise something on it. By the end of the day I would scan the work and email it. At the same time I would start to take notes: my thoughts, quotes from books, various observations...Having to complete something within the time of one day is a limitation and at the same time a liberation. The amount of time that I can work on this is different every day and the fact that I have to finish something in a few hours can sometimes be very stressful. On the other hand, there is a kind of freedom hidden in this process because I approach the work from a more unconscious and instinctive angle.Ι work very intuitively without having anything in particular in mind. I chose the paper type and then selected the material and laid it on the table. I started by spontaneously making some marks on the paper without much thinking. These first gestures gave me some orientation and gradually the painting was created by itself. I initiated the process and then I allow it to evolve on its own. At the beginning of this project I decided for soft pastels as this is the material that I was mainly using the previous months. I worked simultaneously on many drawings and then as the end of the day was approaching I was concentrating on a particular one. Day by day I used different papers, and added more materials like acrylic, ink and watercolour. Halfway through December I realised that something like a visual diary was being created. Nevertheless every day I tried to start from an inner empty space and not look back on the drawings of the previous days. I wanted the feeling of a new beginning to flow into the project everyday. The last days I decided to include parts of the drawings that I had not sent and started the collages. This morning I looked at all the works again. It seemed to me that there is an invisible thread connecting them and that the whole composition is made of a fluid matter in constant movement.

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