Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Athina Betini's Exhibition in Cyprus

Athina Betini is a very good friend, who is also a fantastic artist. She is currently in Cyprus, where she has returned after four years for an exhibition in the Apocalypse Gallery. She has entitled the exhibition "Ενοράσεις και Οράματα" (Insights and Visions). It was an honour for me to be able to write and article for this exhibition, which was published on-line and elsewhere, in order to show the splendour of her work. Here I display a summary in English of he article, since the original was written in Greek.

Her work highlights how we are elevated from our world into the eternal, illustrating the timelessness of her paintings. The allegorical representation receives different forms, where colour emphasises not only the emotion of the artist but also a deeper contemplation of the ontological. 

The emphatic display of the tree, ship, sky, sea and the combination of bold colours play a crucial part in her work. Athina externalises on the canvas, her spiritual world, showing the curiosity, suspense, passion, joys, openness and uncertainty of life.

The paintings, within this current exhibition, depict the combination of simplicity of the Doric Order, as described by Pericles (after the first year of the Peloponnesian War) with the pluralism and complexity of the Corinthian Order, stressing the richness and depth of colour and of meaning. Hence, everyone of us receive a ticket to a journey of art destined for the sky, the sea, hell or heaven, in a timeless universe where beauty prevails. 

In all of her work, it is clear that the soul plays the protagonistic role. The paintings serve as a religion, as a faith, where rationality is unable to comprehend the psychological feelings that emerge on the surface of the existence of the individual. Emotion and admiration are dominant, isolating any logical process. The works of Athena should not be regarded as images or photos. Instead they are windows; windows that allow the viewer to see an ideal world, another world, perhaps another Greece.. Above all they are windows to the soul of the artist, who has the gift of depicting what others do not understand or do not allow themselves to express. 

Dialogue plays a key role in the works exhibited in the Apocalypse Gallery, where the canvases "speak" the language of art using colours instead of words and sounds. Our obligation is to listen to the story they have to tell us. Only then will we be able to understand and appreciate the richness and depth of Athina's work. The paintings do not portray our time and world in a symbolic and mystical way. They are, instead, small beacons of hope and joy, bearing an emotional wealth, distancing us from the darkness of the post-modern world, emphasising on the Homeric faesforo praise, not with words but with colours.

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