Amelia Papageorgiou, born in Athens, is a Swiss artist of Anglo-Hellenic origin.
She began her artistic education at the age of eleven, when she left for England to attend the Arts Educational School, Tring Park.
She graduated from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Neuchâtel, Switzerland, and continued her studies at the Université de Lausanne, taking courses in History of Art, the Art of the Far East, plus Museology and Art & Mass Media with Réné Berger at the Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts de Lausanne. Her Interest in the art and culture of China and Japan led her to travel extensively in the Far East. She studied Mandarin at the Institute of Oriental Studies in Geneva and followed a course of Chinese Calligraphy at the School of Fine Arts in Lausanne.
Both calligraphy and dance influenced her work, and helped define her artistic language.
She works mostly with oils, using an almost choreographic and anatomical approach to the human body.
She was a founding member of the collective Artists in Motion (AIM). Her work has been exhibited in galleries and contemporary art spaces in Switzerland, France and Greece, and can be found in private and corporate collections.
Technohoros – “Contemporary Dystopia”, Athens Greece
Art Forum – Montreux Music & Convention Centre, Switzerland
Artists in Motion – “In Vino Veritas”, Place Gambetta, Bordeaux, France
Benetatou Art & Culture Center – Athens, Greece
Artists in Motion – Rue Centrale, Lausanne, Switzerland
Gallery Zabbeni – Vevey, Switzerland
WTC – Lausanne, Switzerland
Gallery D’Arfi – St-Sulpice, Switzerland
My work focuses on the unseen, the emotional imprints life events leave on our subconscious, aiming to depict the emotion experienced rather than the experience itself.
By sublimating emotions into images I seek to represent the wonders, cruelty and absurdity of our existence. The canvas is my stage, my tool the human body which I relentlessly dissect and transform so as to reveal its soul and substance. Emotions become entities each telling its own story.
Usually, I improvise, however a specific event, image, sketch or even music may be the trigger. As the image develops, a story emerges while the initial idea may end up irrelevant. Each painting becomes a journey, an adventure, a dialogue and a battlefield.
The spectators should feel free to experience my work according to their life experience and therefore I avoid explanations on how it should be read. In the course of the years, people have given me overwhelming personal interpretations and these for me are both a motivation and a priceless reward.
Journey to the depths of the human soul
by Bia Papadopoulou, Art Historian
Plunging into the depths of the human soul, the work of Amelia Papageorgiou functions as grief-striken cries. It introduces the spectator to a troubled and daunting world, where he is guided through visual illustrations of fear, anguish and pain.
The figures, which are brutally distorted and mutilated, call to mind human carcasses, gaping wounds, and hideous human like remains of mauled flesh or ghostly beings. The entrails are presented to the onlooker for scrutiny like personal anatomy charts.
The disjointed figures contort and swirl vigorously while partially draped in bandages, bloodstained gauze or squalid shroud-like cloth. These are the strange protagonists of an uncanny choreography whose theme appears to be the mortal voyage towards death.
Often, the story spreads across two or three canvasses which function as a single entity. The drama unfolds in an undefined, two-dimensional and obscure place. The black background is punctuated by diverse monochromatic areas, lines and curves, which work as interconnecting links of the narrative. The rennaissance laws of perspective are purposefully ignored since Amelia creates abstract geometric settings in which to host these timeless creatures.
Inspired by Chinese Calligraphy, figures are likened to ideograms which are empowered by the artist’s psychological and emotional energy as they are created. Calligraphy brush strokes evolve into familiar shapes and forms evoking the fragmented existence of modern man. The simultaneous depiction of both the internal and external parts of these wounded creatures is none other than an allusion of the tortuous journey to the depths of the human soul. A journey leading to self awareness and redemption.
The paintings become palpable fields on which fragments of the psyche assemble and fuse with present-day existential fears for the future. The unerving and lurid images that emerge are familiar to each and everyone of us. They echo scenes from the theatre of the absurd, in which we live, and testify to man’s hatred for his fellowmen. They terrify us, paralyse and petrify us, yet they also arouse and bring to the surface our craving for peace and tranquillity.