Despite the hard times that Greece is (still) going through, Stella Sevastopoulos’s show ‘Greek Inspiration’ at Placebo draws from Greek nature, culture and myth, in order to look beyond the current socio/political situation and instead to imbue its visitors with a positive perspective on contemporary ‘Greekness’:
Those of you who live in the Southern suburbs will know of Placebo – the round, ultra-modern, 500m2 landmark of a pharmacy on Vouliagmenis Avenue, on the corner of City Plaza. Since it was built in 2009, this building has not only won kudos for its unique design (created by Klab Architecture, considered one of the top in their field worldwide), but has even won international awards for it. Furthermore, Placebo has provided its customers with a whole lot more than just their necessary meds: ranging from unique gift ideas, trendy clothes, accessories, toys and beauty products to organic food options. But recently, Placebo has gone a step further in its holistic approach to ‘therapy’, adding even a little art into its already successful formula. And considering that this spiral of an architectural concept seems to have been inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum in New York, these new art interventions don’t look out of place in the slightest.
The whole idea behind Placebo’s new ‘artistic flair’, is to add a little art therapy into our lives, and to prove that art is for everyone. Katerina Andreou‘s works were the first to be exhibited from September this year, now joined from April 2, by the works of journalist/art critic Stella Sevastopoulos, in an exhibition entitled ‘Greek Inspiration’.
For both Katerina, and Stella, the practice of art has offered them peace of mind and has helped them develop creatively in other fields. On Placebo’s internet site, you will also find Stella Sevastopoulos’s article ’15 Reasons why art is good for you’ (translated into Greek), which was originally posted on her blog (Art Scene Athens, with a page also on facebook).
Katerina turned to creating art in recent years, as a means of stress relief and ended up with a whole series of colourful works in the process, which she mounted on quirky plexiglass frames and decided to exhibit. Stella’s art practice is something which has been running parallel to her other activities and career as a journalist/art critic for many years, seeing as she had originally started off her studies at Harrow School of Art, before continuing at university with the study of history of art and English literature. Her recent involvement with the Art School Glyfada, and the advice of her art teacher there Louiza Delfis, has allowed her to further develop her art practice.
Stella is a London-Greek (from Ealing) who has worked as a journalist/art critic and translator for various publications and institutions (eg. the Art Magazine, Athens Insider, SPHS’s ‘Argo’ review in London and Athens’ National Museum of Contemporary Art (or EMST)), and has also served as the Arts Editor of the ‘Athens News’ for seven years. Since she came to Greece in 1994, this country has served as a major source of inspiration for her art, and how can it not have – just look around you at the ancient heritage, the nature, and that incredible light that is so strong and bright that expats from ‘darker’ countries are still dazzled by it after decades of living here.
In Stella’s works you will find aspects of Greek nature, ranging from shells, flowers and the sea, but also some Greek culture creeping in too: ancient Greek designs, patterns and shapes such as references to fluted columns, ancient hyacinth and acanthus designs, and more.
Through her art, Stella aims to re-evaluate ‘Greekness’ – both its ancient and contemporary facets. By focusing on elements from Greek nature, culture and myth, she tries to capture a small fraction of that amazing Greek past, which is still present all around us (just look at the Acropolis slap bang in the middle of Athens’ concrete jungle), and which has helped shape the western world. Apollonian positivism, Dionysian darkness, that fierce imagination evident in Greek myth, the blinding light of the Greek sun, and the exhilarating natural beauty of this country are a few of the elements that have helped shape the essential character of Greece. It is there, that we might also find the missing ingredients that we need in order to resurrect the lost hope of this country, in order to overcome Greece’s current, ongoing, contemporary crisis.
- At the opening party for the show (April 25), visitors were asked to leave their comments in a book, which asked them ‘What Inspires you (or not), about Greece?’. The comments will be incorporated into a work of art.
• The works will be on show at Placebo through April and May. Placebo is on 85 Vouliagmenis Ave. Open Monday-Saturday 8am-11pm.