Alluding to a timeless, dreamlike world, blending the surreal with reality and visible with the invisible, Anna Maria Papadimitriou presents her new body of work Shades from the deep at Astrolavos Art Gallery. Her art highlights the profound importance of the subconscious resulting in captivating pieces that draw the viewer in. Dynamic forms, balance and harmonious colors infuse her paintings with a sense of depth and movement. Anna Maria Papadimitriou seeks to forge connections that resonate deeply with the human experience, inviting viewers to embark on a journey of discovery and introspection.

Anna Maria Papadimitriou was born in Athens in 1972. She studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts under professors Yannis Valavanidis and Michalis Manousakis (2000-2005). She presented her first solo exhibition in Athens (Astrolavos Gallery, 2010). Since then, her work has been shown in group and solo exhibitions worldwide. In 2014 she won an international competition curated by CultureInside Gallery in Luxembourg and since 2017 she has participated in the annual international “Art Athina” represented by Astrolavos Gallery. Her work is found in several private collections across the world.

Beyond Breathing, we are a Sequence of Dives

Anna Maria Papadimitriou talks* to Greek News Agenda about the driving forces behind her artistic expression, the fluidity of things, and the role of art in our lives.

What lies behind the choice of your means of expression?

I mainly express myself through painting, a creative process that starts from the nothingness of a blank canvas and that can end up talking about everything. A world that emerges and reveals itself slowly, inviting you to get to know yourself and others. The way I handle it is poetic right from the beginning. There is no predetermined path and this is what is so fascinating about it. Over the years, I have formed a personal idiom and I have followed the path of this kind of poetic, sensual abstraction.

I prefer to use oil because I consider it irreplaceable in painting. Apart from its durability over time, it is interesting that it functions like a living organism, malleable, which, with transparencies, lets you pass through it. The textures and qualities of the oil give you the feeling that it breathes.

Depths of our Provenance

Your works invite the viewer to immerse into a dreamlike reality, where the fluidity dominates. What do you want to communicate to the viewer?

Everything is fluid and the subconscious is even more fluid. In water we are all connected in some way, whether we see it as a plunge into the archetypal depths or as an environment similar to that of a womb. Water is an experience in which we coexist. The viewer has no choice but to allow himself to indulge in this experience, to stand before a work that can become a mirror of a part of his psyche. I invite him to a process of introspection. If he loses his bearings for a while, it will be an indication that a fruitful search has begun.

What role does the subconscious play in your art?

Ever since art ceased to be understood as the depiction of the external world, its driving force has been the subconscious. It has an iconoclastic capacity that subverts the logical order of the world and brings to light our deepest needs and desires as well as our repulsions. I don’t believe there would be anything to motivate me to create without the subconscious. Furthermore, it is also what connects me to others, all those who have similar inner needs.

In the water where you came from

Your art is predominantly non-figurative. What are the advantages of this approach?

The miracle of Abstraction is that it does not limit the viewer in terms of space, time, or form. It leaves him free to find himself wherever he wants, to feel the way he wants. It offers him an open field in which he can relate to parts of himself that he is questioning and investigating.

In abstract works, the viewer does not see forms he already knows, but forms that are open to various interpretations. He may also become aware of inner experiences that have previously gone unnoticed. Even the same person after a long time can perceive the same work differently, the reason being that he has evolved himself. In this sense, non-figurative works remain alive and interactive, constantly creating occasions for new internal discussions.

Shadow enveloping light

What are your issues of concern as an artist?

I appreciate honesty. I am interested in bringing people closer to what we really are. To recognize both our strengths and our vulnerabilities. To connect with particular aspects of ourselves and communicate them to others. Inspiration is born in unknown waters, we shouldn’t be afraid of them. We are all in this together. Everyone is working with himself but this process is also carried out as a whole. The progress of others benefits us too. Likewise, our own self-awareness will benefit others. My art, I believe, suggests all of this. “Beyond breathing, we are a sequence of dives”. My works invite us all to find a meaning during this metaphorical dive.

The visible-invisible antithesis seems to be a key parameter of your work. What do you consider to be the role of art in this context?

The role of art is to see the world and our lives from a different perspective. To discover new truths, to invite us redefine ourselves. The visible is something external. It is the apparent surface. It tells us what we already know. The invisible, on the other hand, involves everything. Everything we could possibly learn. It is a reservoir from which we can draw freely what we choose as long as we have that disposition to do so. The result of this process is very rewarding indeed.

*Interview by Dora Trogadi

Ιntro Photos: Left: the artist, Right: Memories and circles of Now