I think of my work as more than an exact depiction of reality; rather, it is my personal expression of all that I observe in the world around me, ruled and filtered by processes from my subconscious. Instinct and intuition guide my drawing and painting techniques, allowing me to free myself from academic constraints and to develop my own individual language.
Through self-portraiture I explore and question ideas around cultural identity, sense of belonging and what it means to be an artist. Self-representation features alongside objects derived from my close surroundings – objects that are normally considered as lacking any importance or significance. I recycle them and give them new life by re-assembling in a composition that gives fresh meaning and context to everyday detritus.
By crowding my paintings with detailed imagery I invite the viewer to come closer for a more intimate and profound experience, to scrutinise and contemplate what they see. My pictures have an immersive quality that coaxes the viewer to look at the world in a different way; the slow mediums of painting and drawing engender a meditative quality that I believe has the power to change perceptions.
‘A painting must have the tension to provoke us to look at it; to wake us up from a state of indifference’ – Apostolos Georgiou
Time, place and identity are important to me. I am an immigrant stuck in limbo between the past and present worlds, unable to feel at home in my adopted country yet no longer having a sense of belonging in my home country, all at once alienated and anonymous wherever I may be. The imagery from the past and present of my surrounding world is brought together in the timeless whole of my art – I am the faceless silhouette of a labourer or a cleaner, depicting the anonymity and marginalisation of such existences as well as the impotence within the wider socio-political context.
I am always asking questions; I want the viewer to ask questions. But there is no single answer in my compositions – it is for viewers to interpret and draw their own conclusions around the narrative of each work.
‘I am interested in creating something with no defined interpretations. I would like my work to slow the viewer down and delay the moment of understanding’ - Ellen Altfest