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Hellenic Cruise

Hellenic Cruise
by
Emi Avora

Opening Saturday 7th November 7-9pm

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Hellenic Cruise brings together a recent a body of work that includes large prints, drawings and inks on paper. With architecture and history as departure points and in light of the recent turbulence in her native country Greece, Avora has been reconsidering her own but also the public perception of the place where she was born but left quite early on. Interested in the recent architectural history and its symbolic value as a sign of progress but also a reminder of a period of corruption in Greece, Avora has for the past few years been gathering her own as well as found imagery of the block buildings in Athens, a lot of them now decaying from lack of maintenance funds. This harsh and erratic but also very familiar to her, ‘concrete jungle’, leaves a very bittersweet taste of fond memories but also acts as an expression of the chaotic and the claustrophobic. Haphazard collages of the buildings have been partly erased with solvents, creating negative gestural drawings. The solvents are intentionally used however the marks they make are accidental and ominous when blown up to very large scale. The ink drawings make reference to Mortimer Wheeler’s 50’s BBC documentary ‘Hellenic Cruise’, a Grand Tour style view of the Hellenic archaeological sites as well as a romantic view of 50’s Greece. The stylised and cliché ways of depicting Hellenism contrast the stark prints, the first more decorative the second more gestural. On the other hand, the small watercolours make up an imaginary city that could be growing but also decaying, the small monochromes acting as tiles of a larger puzzle.The overlaps between the various interpretations leave room for fiction and imagination; the Athenian landscape could be any urban landscape with its history, its potential growth and decay and its skewed and romantic public representation.

Avora is an artist and teaches art at St Paul’s School, London. She studied at Ruskin School of Art, Oxford and received her MA in Fine Arts from the Royal Academy Schools, London. She has exhibited internationally. Selected exhibitions include: National Theatre of Greece, Athens (2013); Studio Voltaire, London (2012); Royal Academy of Arts, London (2011); The Apartment Gallery, Athens (2011), South Square Gallery, Bradford/UK (2010); National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (2008); Greenberg Van Doren Gallery, New York (2007); The Whitechapel Gallery, London (2006).

www.emiavora.com

8th-28th November

New Court Gallery
Burton Rd, Repton School, Repton, Derbyshire, DE65 6FH
Open daily & by appointment at mg@repton.org.uk

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