Visual Artist

Maria Papacharalambous

2015-2016  “Portraits” In the framework of the exhibition “Islands of the Absurd” curated by Ingmar Lähnemann und Ursula van den Busch at Städtische Galerie, Bremen, Germany. Artists : Susann Maria Hempel, Stefan Jeep, Giorgos Gerontides, Achilleas Kentonis, Maria Papacharalambous

Portraits: A sociopolitical reflection

My personal visual treaty this time, takes the form of a critical and caustic comment on the sociopolitical scene of the surrounding reality. At the same time though, it is a call to look upon ourselves in the mirror and acknowledge our own reflection/projection.

I consciously choose my family’s used/worn out socks as my row material, which is considered to be the most worthless piece of clothing. One of the most evident and consistent elements found in my artwork, which fascinates me, is the reuse of discarded, un-used materials as well as their transformation and redevelopment. In this case, I modify it into a snake, a caterpillar, a worm, species that is at the lowest hierarchy of the animal kingdom, symbolizing the primitive, the greedy, the disgusting. I combine, connect and ‘re-weave’ them with discarded and absurd objects in a light, playful and humorous manner, in an attempt to  "exorcize" and enlighten the symbolisms and concepts to which they refer to and carry within.

The snake symbolizes the evil, the devil, the sin; yet, at the same time, it also symbolizes the knowledge and the power to heal. It has the ability to shed its old skin and grow a new layer through a painful procedure by creating friction between  two rough rocks. Along with its new skin, it also changes its behavior, regenerating, creating and reaching a new level of maturity. The worm-shaped caterpillar is an aggressive, omnivorous and distractive creature. However, it has the ability of transformation, which is achieved in a mysterious and seductive manner. The caterpillar weaves its ephemeral "cell" with a living thread and reorganizes itself. These changes gradually take place within its cocoon, where it is lead towards a total reconstruction. The wondrous/magical world of the caterpillar’s transformation, is unveiled with its triumphant exit.  

"The heart of Man is a skein of caterpillars - my God, blow the winds and let them turn into butterflies!" N. Kazantzakis