Anthia Loizou - Artist Spotlight

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Anthia Loizou - Return on Art

I experience this abstracting process as a way to freedom. The evolution of my work bears witness to the inner journeys of identifying these unnecessities and abstracting them from both life and art.

Anthia Loizou captures and presents her transient inner self through various artistic elements - colour, shape, space, texture, rhythm and flow. She often employs older works as the base material for new ones that are completely different in dimension and form. You can find her dismantling a 3D installation into pieces and forming 2D collages, or making a sculpture out of painting fragments. As these artworks transform and are given new meanings, the studio becomes the site-specific element of the works. 

Anthia is particularly fascinated by adhesive tape, especially when applied on taut transparent paper surfaces, because of the contrast between the fragility of papers and the strength of the tape. She also achieved new and unique colours by overlaying translucent tapes of different colours. This is a symbolic battle between uniqueness and established systems. 

Anthia has exhibited her work in numerous group and solo exhibitions in the past eight years and won several awards, such as the Finalist Artist for Art Prize Laguna in 2015.

 Anthia Loizou - Return on Art

   

Q. What did you study in the art schools and how did your studies contribute to your artistic practice today?

From the age of 13, I started making my clothes with textiles I found in a treasure trunk in our house. It contained impressive samples of fabrics left from my grandfather's textile design business in Athens during the 60s. Later I studied fashion design and had my brand making clothes and theater costumes. I was experimenting with the materials, forms and textures in a sculptural sense.

At some point, I felt the urge to work without the restriction of usability, so I moved to fine art studies at the Athens School of Fine Arts and later to the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. This relocation allowed me to disengage from certain expectations and reinvent myself on some levels. In Vienna, the opportunities to exhibit my work increased greatly, motivating me to put aside my perfectionism and start making ephemeral site-specific installations with various materials, including earlier works.

Anthia Loizou - Return on Art

  

Q. What are some of the main themes in your artwork? What sparked your interest in these topics?

I am interested in materializing ideas around the body and mind related to the current flow of things and how memory, social constructions, and heritage affect individual perception.

Sometimes I start with a specific idea that has activated me, and other times the experimentation process itself brings to my consciousness the reasons that led me to it.

Anthia Loizou - Return on Art

   

It’s very necessary for me to know the site and the exhibition's theme when I start thinking about a new piece of work. Each project's nature offers unique challenges that demand new solutions and ideas that help to inform my artistic practice. Additionally, I have some ongoing series with certain topics (bathers, abstract landscapes etc.) that I keep returning to. Occasionally, new mediums and ideas are discovered on the way.

Anthia Loizou - Return on Art

   

Q. You seem to like working with fragments of old artwork and recreating them into new ones. What inspired you to do this?

Indeed, I often use earlier works and make new and different ones. For instance, I dismantle sculptures to rearrange them into a flat form, or I cut up paintings and knit them in a three-dimensional space. I like this transposition between the dimensions. Thus, the memory of each state is transferred to the other, and the flow is maintained. The final work is the visible form that, in essence, reflects an adventurous process of choices. 

 Anthia Loizou - Return on Art

  
Q. Your artwork has this gentle and soft colour palette. Is there any reason for such choices?
Colour contributes significantly to my working process. Occasionally an entire work might spring from the need to place two particular colours next to each other and surround them by others in a specific composition that reflects an inner atmosphere. Regarding tapes, what I especially enjoy doing with them is soothing down their industrially-intensive colours, by layering semi-transparent ones over each other or blending them in certain patterns in order to produce milder and unique colour impressions. Through these processes, I stabilize inner or outer tensions, a sort of battle between individuality and predetermined systems.

Anthia Loizou - Return on Art

  

Q. You seem to particularly like adhesive tape as an artistic medium. How did you discover your fondness for it and what is so special about it?

The idea to use tapes appeared seven years ago, as a kind of necessity. I had just given birth to my daughter when I was invited to take part in an art festival happening on a floating vintage river boat, and I was offered a passenger cabin to present my work. I didn’t have ready pieces fitting this situation, so I had to think of a material that articulates ideas rapidly and can be removed afterward and return the space as it was before. Then, I came up with the idea to tape literally everything as a second skin to demonstrate the traces of the cabin’s secret life through the years of traveling. Since then, I have kept discovering the potential of tapes regarding their use; for example, how to blend them with other materials or how to coat them to make them durable even in outdoor weather conditions. 

Anthia Loizou - Return on Art

 

Q. Are you inspired by any other form of artistic or creative discipline/s?

I definitely integrate multiple disciplines to complement my work, such as decorative arts, textile, stage design and performance. 

Anthia Loizou - Return on Art

Q. Did your artistic style and approach change in the past few years? How did it change?

I am always up to breaking norms of mine and going through unknown paths. Looking back to my earlier works, I see elements that developed later from studies of the natural world to abstract, unrestricted forms. I experience this abstracting process as a way to freedom. The evolution of my work bears witness to the inner journeys of identifying these unnecessities and abstracting them from both life and art.  

I also see a transition of my preference for working in solitude to a fondness for collective projects and even the intention to perform my creative process in public. 

Anthia Loizou - Return on Art

  

Q. What does abstract art mean to you and what is your approach to it?

As I mentioned in the previous answer, abstract art is a way to freedom for me - freeing myself from unnecessary shackles and burdens I unwittingly was carrying or once chose as protective shields.

Anthia Loizou - Return on Art

   

Q. Do you have a proudest piece of artwork to share?

Everything I have done so far matters equally to me, as every new piece contains, in a way, my entire process - from its incubation to its completion and the next work. So, if I were to say that I am proud of something, it is about continuing on this path and eventually finding the appropriate challenges that keep me going.

Anthia Loizou - Return on Art

 

Q. Could you describe your work in 3 words?

Intuitive, liberating, flowing

 

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