Life-Giving Art

Nine Women Artists of the Diaspora

Life-Giving Art: 9 Women Artists of the Diaspora is an exhibition organized on the occasion of the month of May and the celebration of motherhood in all its forms. The exhibition also comes as a response to the special circumstances imposed by this year’s unique global health challenge.

This exhibition brings together nine women artists of the Hellenic diaspora, from all walks of life. The works exhibited reflect qualities and experiences from life as part of the diaspora as well as the experience of motherhood as a broader concept that includes all those women who supported dreams, visions, and goals, who encouraged reaching higher, who shaped connections with our roots, and who embodied the true meaning of “love” and “family.”

Each work comes in dialogue with the other and all collectively aim to elicit a sense of connectedness within the viewers. References to the past mingle with the present in playful yet evocative ways in the paintings of Nicole Economides and the sculptures of Morfy Gikas. Despo Magoni and Sophia Vari urge the viewers to reconnect with their creativity and reach for their dreams as their works intertwine vivid imagination with the scientific reality of daily life. The paintings of Despina Konstantinides and the multi-media textile works by Eozen Agopian challenge the traditional notions of landscape and time as different perspectives, colors, and materials are layered on a single surface serving, perhaps, as another metaphor for the layering in one’s personality that occurs with the passing of time and with experience. Aphrodite Navab calls the viewer to consider the notions of love and family as they transcend cultural boundaries and unite the world, while the works of Eleni Giannopoulou and Helen Daferera serve as connectors to memory be it as broad as one’s homeland, as small as one’s home, and as intimate as the confines of one’s family.

We hope this exhibition imbues you all with hope, and the nostalgic feeling of reminiscing those deep, honest and soulful connections that make life meaningful, especially during times like these.

To access and read the online publication for this exhibition please click here.

Installation Photos

Left:
Nicole Economides, New Ruins, 2019.
Photo transfer and spraypaint on canvas,
30 x 40 inches.
Artwork photo courtesy of the artist.

Right:
Morfy Gikas, from the series 7 Stairways, 2020.
Plaster,
29 inch high.
Artwork photo courtesy of the artist.

Wall:
Helen Daferera, Labyrinths, 2020.
Mixed technique, collage,
watercolors, ink,
17 x 9 inches.
Artwork photo courtesy of the artist.

Floor piece:
Eleni Giannopoulou, The Tent I, 2019.
Textile and mixed media,
18 inches high,
overall dimensions variable.
Artwork photo courtesy of the artist.

Wall:
Sophia Vari, Forms and Colors 3, 2018.
Watercolor and collage on wood, triptych,
63.78 x 153.54 in. 162 x 390 cm.
Artwork photo courtesy of the artist and Nora Haime Gallery, NYC.

Sculpture:
Sophia Vari, temps Suspendu, 1999.
Bronze, black patina and red paint, unique,
69 3/4 x 28 1/4 x 28 1/4 in. 177.2 x 71.8 x 71.8 cm.
Artwork photo courtesy of the artist and Nora Haime Gallery, NYC.

Left:
Aphrodite Navab, She Speaks Greek Farsi, 2009,
[oikogeneia/family].
Archival C Print,
23 x 30 inches.
Artwork photo courtesy of the artist.

Center:
Eleni Giannopoulou, My Bed from Sleep Installation, 2018.
Wood and mixed media,
15 inches high; overall dimensions variable.
Artwork photo courtesy of the artist.

Right:
Aphrodite Navab, She Speaks Greek Farsi, 2009,
[agape/love].
Archival C Print,
23 x 30 inches.
Artwork photo courtesy of the artist.

Sculpture:
Morfy Gikas, Untitled, 2018-2019.
Plaster,
22 inches high.
Artwork photo courtesy of the artist.

Wall:
Nicole Economides, Come to Greece I, II, III, 2018.
Monoprint on handmade paper,
22 x 18 inches.
Artwork photo courtesy of the artist.

Left:
Despo Magoni, Celestial Crossings #1, 2009.
Mixed media and collage on paper,
24 x 20 inches.
Artwork photo courtesy of the artist.

Right:
Helen Daferera, The Roots, 2020.
Mixed technique, collage, watercolors, ink,
8.6 x 8 inches.
Artwork photo courtesy of the artist.

Sculpture:
Morfy Gikas, Stairways, 2016-2018.
Plaster,
32 inches high.
Artwork photo courtesy of the artist.

Wall:
Despo Magoni, Musica Universalis #2, 2005.
Mixed media and collage on paper,
42 x 69 inches.
Artwork photo courtesy of the artist.

Left:
Eozen Agopian, Bridge, 2015.
Mixed media on canvas with fabric and thread,
60 x 60 inches.
Artwork photo courtesy of the artist.

Right:
Despina Konstantinides, Hover, 2019.
Oil on linen,
20 x 24 inches.
Artwork photo courtesy of the artist.

Left:
Despina Konstantinides, Cabiria, 2015.
Oil on linen,
38 x 52 inches.
Artwork photo courtesy of the artist and Gallery59/Rafael Gallery.

Right:
Eozen Agopian, Crashed, 2012.
Acrylic, oil and thread on canvas,
47.5 x 43.3 inches.
Artwork photo courtesy of the artist.

Individual Works

Artists

Eozen Agopian
Helen Daferera
Nicole Economides
Eleni Giannopoulou
Morfy Gkikas
Despina Konstantinides
Despo Magoni
Aphrodite Navab
Sophia Vari


Acknowledgement

We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Ying Zhou, Executive Director of the Tech Incubator at Queens College and her team who helped us put this exhibition up in the best way we could possibly imagine.

We would like to also thank all the artists participating in the exhibition, who answered all our questions and made the collaboration run smoothly during these difficult times.

Further, we would like to thank Queens College, CUNY for providing us the virtual space and therefore presenting this exhibition in a new way of experiencing art, when in Covid-19 health restrictions, seeing it in a physical location is not yet permitted.

Nicholas Alexiou
Tiffany Apostolou