Visual artist Anna Ampariotou presents her solo exhibition, The Art of Doing Nothing and the Parallel Hiking at Citronne Gallery. Her new body of work comprises a series of digital works as well as ceramic sculptures, reflecting her intention to reveal the not-so-obvious sides of this world. Bringing together elements of the unconscious, reality, and fantasy she creates a parallel universe, inviting her audience to contemplate on the challenging relationship between man and nature.

Her works of art are tributes to the splendor of nature, capturing moments and emotions. At the heart of her artistic focus lies the urgent issue of preservation of the natural environment, while her exhibition serves as a poignant reminder of escalating human threats against it. Meticulously observing nature and inspired by profound existential concerns, Ampariotou’s creations emerge as sanctuaries for contemplation and solace.

Anna Ampariotou was born in Athens. She studied Interior Decoration and Graphic Design at Vakalo College. She also studied Painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts under Chronis Botsoglou and Tassos Christakis. She also attended Nikos Tranos’s sculpture workshop and Manthos Santorineos’s multimedia workshop. She graduated in 2004. Her work involves painting, sculpture, video art, installations and digital projects. She has presented her work in five solo exhibitions and she has participated in over thirty group exhibitions.

The Spring Inside Her

Anna Ampariotou talked to Greek News Agenda* about the essence of “Doing Nothing”, her parallel universe and her biomorphic entities.

The title of your exhibition is The Art of Doing Nothing and the Parallel Hike. How important and compatible with everyday life is this state of mind?

The phrase The Art of Doing Nothing fascinates me because it contains two negations, which usually amount to an affirmation. Plus, it is connected to the Greek word for “art”, tehni, which is derived from the ancient Greek verb tikto which means “to give birth”. For me, the art of doing nothing is essentially the space and time you give yourself to perceive, understand, and evaluate what has already happened and what is currently happening. The second component of the title of this work, Parallel Hiking, is the time and space you give yourself to live with the clarity offered by what you have discovered so far.

Today, this seems like a luxury. We live in an information overload, which, due to its density, ends up turning into noise, obstructing us from evaluating the information. Our needs are entirely personal matters. Of course, there is also the significant issue of education and what is presented as a “precious asset”, aside from the basic material goods that a person needs in order to live a decent and healthy life.

The Cosmonauts

Could you share with us the creative process you follow?

It mainly involves the non-rational observation of the world. I am trying not to overanalyze this process. I feel that the inception of a work usually comes from the “silence” and “ignorance” of what I precisely want to say. This, after all, gives me the freedom to be bold, to experiment, and to let my instincts be heard.

Homer begins the first rhapsody of the Odyssey with the verse, “O Muse, sing to me of the man full of

resources…”. The word “Muse,” in my opinion, represents the meeting of the unconscious with the conscious, two distinct parts of the “human machine,” each functioning with its own rules and potentially constituting the source of creativity.

The Spring out there

Your exhibition presents a parallel universe, an alternative reality. What are its dominant characteristics?

I have primarily recorded elements of nature, that is, elements that everyone can observe, collect, and discover their value. The parallel universe, the alternative reality as you mentioned, is the composition of a story that comes from my unconscious (DNA memories, atavistic characteristics) and the conscious (senses and emotions). I would like it to create a sense of truth in whatever way one perceives it, through empathy, respect for uniqueness and value of every rational and irrational existence.

Nature has a central role in your exhibition. What is your reaction to the way we interact nowadays with it and how does art get involved in this field?

It is obvious that we are moving further away from our natural environment. Often under the pretext of the survival of the human species, we encroach and destroy. And this is not a new phenomenon. Art plays its usual role. It functions as a reminder, a revelation, a discovery, a therapy, a subversion, an emotion, an understanding, a bliss, an awakening, a vigilance…

As I walked, I tried to find the meaning. I found it, where everything seems otherworldly

The biomorphic entities represented in your works are the product of digital painting. What are the comparative advantages of this technique and how do you see the future of art as technology and artificial intelligence play an increasingly important role?

I have not used digital painting because of its advantages over traditional painting. I choose the tools that serve the narrative of each story. Proof of this is that for the second component of the title, I chose to create ceramic sculptures. Regarding technology in general, I do not believe it operates against creativity as long as there is a good understanding of the medium so that it does not overshadow the work. Artificial intelligence is at the brink of maturity. I would not consider myself an expert regarding its capabilities, however, I believe that, just like all the other “inventions” of the limitless abilities of Homo sapiens, AI will occupy the space we allow it. Maybe because of arrogance or ambition, history shows that we are not restrained. Until we chart all the uncharted territories of the human being, even those the existence of which we ignore, we can listen to the Muse when she sings to us.

*Interview by Dora Trogadi

Intro Photos: Left: the artist, Right: I leisurely crossed the corridor, which was paved with pebbles. When I opened the door, I remembered: There is an elephant in the room