I have always lived in a big busy city, Athens, London or Berlin. The experience of urban life inevitably flows into my work. Since 2005 I have been observing, recording and photographing the cracks in Athenian pavements. I am fascinated by the way nature creates those linear cracks on the concrete. I see them as dynamic drawings created by time, weather, decay and human feet. Gradually, I collected a great number of photographs which motivated me to begin a series of works inspired by those cracks: a project that lasted 10 years, until 2015. This linearity is felt both as experience and inspiration, resulting in small abstract works that are grouped together and set in a grid.
A second, more recent series of folded works which began in 2017 refer to autobiographical routes within Athens and focus more on decay, memory and absence. These pieces open and unfold, revealing an ephemeral moment that is the product of recording and editing. I drew the actual cracks on long strips of paper or inside Japanese concertina books as they can be folded and then unfolded again. I wanted to hide those drawings, those memories, even if it was just temporary, by folding the paper. Gradually, tentatively, as the project evolved, I started creating autobiographical work by searching my own traces on pavements around areas where I have lived: near my school, in my old neighbourhoods not just in Athens but also in Berlin and London.
Check out more of Iliana's work throughout the process below.