Anna, where do you come from?
When and why did you decide to take up art?
My relationship with art begins from a very young age – I always loved trailing the visual arts and dealing with painting and sculpture at school. My dream has always been to study the fine arts. But I had followed another path. One summer on the Greek island of Tinos, I found a vintage photograph literally thrown away – it was a boat with four female figures inside it. This was the launch of my own artistic journey. In this boat I saw myself travelling through time. That is how my journey began and with it the search for my own artistic identity of how I can express my emotions and dreams. As time went by, I found that I could associate photographs with decorative elements, giving them a link to the future and offering the viewer an image. The positive reception I received from the people I showed my artwork to made me decide to take a step forward and hold my first personal exhibition to show my work to the wider public. It was exhilarating to see people come to talk to me about something which I created; it meant I had truly made some form of art and the entire feeling can only be described as real euphoria.
What do you most enjoy about it?
I love dealing with color, working with my fingers and feeling the paint and the physical contact with the materials I use – the paper, the acrylic, acrylic inks, crayons and many more. My aim is to create a narrative open to interpretation by diverse viewers putting them in an ambiance of joy and making them drift off into other eras.
How long does it take to create one of your paintings?
It usually takes me an afternoon. But I need about a week to finalize it and complete the finishing touches.
Is there a specific procedure you follow when you create your work?
No, what I do is completely liberal. I do not have a standard technique. Rather, I would say I created my own technique. It is an entirely personal procedure.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by vintage photographs I may find, usually one involving people that will make me think of what life they lived, what happened in the course of their lives, etc. I am very curious about the past. Not so much of the future, though. I am also enthralled by the Belle Époque period. I love everything about that period – the way people lived, the way women dressed, the flourishing of the arts (painting, literature, architecture). It is during this period that great works of art were created. I like the elegance that defined that period.
What does art signify to you?
Art to me means the way of expressing emotions involving the imaginary and technical skills.
Where have you exhibited your work so far?
My first solo exhibition entitled Atmosphères-Revisited was held in Athens, Greece, (October 15 – November 8, 2014). I have also participated at an Annual Charity Exhibition in Athens, Greece, (February 25 – March 1, 2015). In May 2015, some of my artwork was exhibited at the TAG gallery near the petit Sablon square in Brussels, Belgium. I was also invited to participate at the 2015 Milan EXPO in Italy. On November 24-29, 2015, two large artworks of mine will be presented at the 2015 Art en Capital Exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris, France.
What are your future plans?
I am considering a more specific presentation for my next exhibition. I am searching for a theme that will have to do with my home country, Greece. We have so many beautiful things to show, other than the islands and the Acropolis, that foreigners do not know about and which we should highlight. In addition, I have a proposal to teach my technique to children in a primary school in Brussels. I think that is wonderful – to demonstrate something which I have created and that they can later elaborate and make even more beautiful. Children’s eyes are so innocent and can bring to light so many ideas. It is something which we should help develop.
For more information about Anna Gerolymatou, visit her official website