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Level 25 Artjournal Interview, issue #6

Wow, you do a lot: video, painting, sculpture, theatre… How do you decide which Froso is going to be present on any given day?

Hahaha I like how you pose this question. Well split personality has always been an advantage...but mainly being nosy and indecisive helped in undertaking a variety of studies that allow me now to have the flexibility to experiment with different artistic mediums. Having the urge to try out different ways of being creative, not always successfully I admit, is what makes my practice to be so multifaceted.

The use of different mediums most of the time is not intentional but rather spontaneous; usually I get an idea for a project that fits best to a certain medium and then I work around the logistics for its realisation. The outcome most of the times is unknown until the very end.

Collaboration with other artists and exchanging skills has also helped in expanding the field of experimentation and the variation of mediums. With my partner in crime Jonathan Bradbury we run Collaborative Art, a non-profit organisation that aims to bring artists with different skills together to explore different mediums and ways of expression and create events that promote these collaborations. So in a way getting involved with ‘a lot’ is how my practice works.

“The isolation of the self from public involvement…” is something you mention in your statement; and it certainly does seem that in this era everyone is more isolated despite being more connected. Do you hope that your art can make people more aware of this situation and then collectively try to change it?

I believe that this isolation from public involvement, and I agree with you that is a characteristic of our times and steadily increases, is the cause of many problems we face and it might sound a bit of an oxymoron but this lack of unity can and is turning us into naïve herds, too self focused but desperate to fit in, mostly in superficial ways.

Awareness would be the ideal goal of my work, although I believe that the intention of the artist ends when the work is presented to the public and it is their time to connect and personally interpret it, not necessary reaching the initial intention of the artist. What I have achieved, based on feedback and discussions, is that my work can create room for discussion amongst people, and for me that is a step towards my aim. Elements in my work, such as newspaper cuttings/ semi abstract figures etc. allow people to find something familiar yet out of context, which is intended to create a personal connection whilst becoming a threat to the serenity of art enjoyment and therefore require further exploration. I believe that creating room for questioning and answer seeking can eventually lead to awareness and attaining of knowledge.

Talk to us, please, of what it is like to spend a day with you. With all the various creative projects you take part in, I imagine you are a bundle of energy and a force to be reckoned with.

My friends say I am a headache, but don’t believe them hahaha. I have to admit that these projects are usually one or two at a time (maybe three) and due to other commitments, are realised slowly, except when a deadline is involved; to quote Douglas Adams ‘I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by’. But I do have a lot of support and understanding from my family and friends and that keeps me going, especially in times that I forget what social life means, paradoxically whilst trying to deal with self-isolation in my work.

Your work, “The Price of Oil Gone Up” is so arresting! It captures the eye and holds onto it. What I enjoy about it is that it points out that there is not only a natural impact to oil usage but also a human impact. Walk us through that piece, please. I am most interested in hearing specifically about the creation process of it: How did you cast the hand, for instance? How did you decide to have the piece seem to grow out of the wall? Things like that…

Firstly I would like to thank you for taking time to look and find connection with my work.

The work is a commentary about the ‘oil wars’ and the sacrifices made. In a way the work is UK specific, due to the use of the paper poppy that is worn here on Remembrance Day and since the inspiration came from the paper poppies that are now sold to support the UK troops and injured serviceman in Afghanistan/Middle East. The purpose is mainly to question the intentions of governments and the strategies behind these types of wars in comparison to the value of human life. The reason that it grows out of the wall is to resemble architectural features from ancient temples and create a reference to the mythologies of bloodthirsty gods, the sacred and sacrificial, whilst the glass container with the poppies in oil and the stained feather are symbolising the offerings.

So for the making of the work, the casted hand was a kindly offered by my friend, who for 3 hours patiently withstood the torture of the itchy plaster and the painful removal of it. Once I managed to have the cast I accidently destroyed it (I reassure you not intentionally) so he had to do a second sitting, not so wilfully this time. The second attempt was successful so then I worked with thread and fabric to create the finish.

Onto “Ripped Series #2:” a compelling work and one I feel is very urban. Moreover, I like that it took me looking at it a few times to see various “hidden” things in it, like that outstretched hand, for example. What I am most curious about is the choices you made as far as the words included in the piece. “Agony;” “Crime Victims;” “Bailout…” and the others. Explain for us what this piece represents, please, and how strongly do you feel about its message?

Ripped series 02 was created during the outburst of the Greek economical problem and was inspired by the knock-on effect it had to the public. The words and the symbolism of the work, such as the outstretched hand you mention, the crumbling towers, the stitched canvas etc are all referring to the failing economical system and the impact it has to the average worker, who usually pays the price. Whilst it is a work that encompasses the general idea of poverty and fiscal segregation, is also very personal as it reflects the economical turmoil that my friends and family have since going through. Time is something we need to invest in order to identify ‘hidden’ things in this financial regression that many countries in Europe face and where this phenomenon sits within the global economical strategies.

Thank you very much!

Thank you for this great opportunity.

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