Buy This Issue
The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 25 July 2015
18 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 25 JULY 2015 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Archibald’s youngest entrant Greek Australian five-year-old submits a mixed media self-portrait ANTHONY STAVRINOS Greek Australian Rose Vassiliou may not have been among the finalists for Australia's most prestigious portraiture prize, but the five-year-old from Perth has set a benchmark as the Archibald’s youngest-ever entrant. Rose's mum, Renee Vassiliou, is a full-time contemporary artist in Perth and is bursting with pride at the enthusiasm of her daughter, who's still a pre-school pupil at St Denis Primary School in Joondanna. "I'm so proud of my darling Rose for entering the Archibald. It made me smile when she asked me if she could enter. I work as an artist myself and she loves to watch me paint too," Vassiliou told Neos Kosmos. "It's important to me that my children can explore art materials, including paint, in their own way. "They have so much fun and it's far more creative to give them the paint and let them just go for it without structured formal activity." A trip to the Art Gallery of New South Wales a few years ago, when Rose was just a toddler, sparked the youngster's interest in portraiture. "She visited the Archibald exhibition and voted for her favourite piece in the People's Choice Award," Vassiliou said. "This year, she asked if she could enter the painting competition herself." Asked by her mother what the best thing was about entering the Archibald Prize, Rose said "getting it in the newspaper" and admitted knowing she wouldn't win it. "I knew I wouldn't win because I saw, when I was watching TV with Baba and Papu, all the other people's paintings and I thought they were better ... doesn't matter," Rose said. Vassiliou said it was school holidays in Perth and Rose had been enjoying painting with her sister with the subject matter this time being 'rainbows'. When Rose wasn't painting she enjoyed going to the park, reading books, building cubbies and "playing schools". "I like school and the holidays," Rose said. The five-year-old submitted a mixed media self-portrait titled Underwater, which was inspired by a trip to the Beatty Park swimming pool in North Perth. A spokeswoman for the Art Gallery of New South Wales, which administers the Archibald Prize, said it was likely Rose was the youngest entrant in the competition's 94-year history. Vassiliou said packing and delivering the work to Sydney was a challenge in itself but was worth the effort. The winner of this year's Archibald Prize, announced last Friday, was Nigel Milson for his portrait of Sydney barrister Charles Waterstreet. Milsom's canvas - the largest painting of the 47 finalists in this year's prize - presented Waterstreet as a larger-than-life figure. It is the third time Newcastle artist Milsom has been an Archibald Prize finalist and it is his first Archibald win. The Archibald Prize awards the winning artist $100,000. The five-year-old artist in action. Rose Vassiliou adds the finishing touch to her portrait titled Underwater. ‘Lost in Translocation’ An RMIT exhibition which weaves together the work of artists who identify with displacement, migration and the diaspora In an ever-globalising world, human movement has become one of the globe's most important facets. Thus, it is no wonder that six Australian-based artists who all hold experiences with migration and translocation have fused artistic minds to participate in the ‘Lost in Translocation’ exhibition now showing at the RMIT Project Space Spare Room. The exhibition, running until 20 August, involves six separate installations that showcase each artist's experiences with migration through their own uniquely personal artistic lens. Participating in the exhibit are renowned artists Rushdi Anwar, Eva Abbinga, Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan, Megan Cope and Greek Melbourne-based visual artist Nikos Pantazopoulos. Pantazopoulous' participation in the collective event is one that stems from his photographic series ‘Boutique Politics’ and from his experience as the son of Greek migrants in Melbourne. His photographic installation involves two photos that are contrasted via parallel placement and centred on the Melburnian suburb of Brunswick - Pantazopoulos' birthplace in 1973, childhood home and a place of repetitive return and departure. As a personal place of continuous movement, the suburb is critical to an exhibition centred entirely on the process of human movement and how such a process can displace senses of identity and belonging, and notions of home. The paralleled photos offer a great contrast in subject. The selection's left image features a male torso juxtaposed with the right hand image of a persimmon tree nestled in delicate white lace tapestry; all three subjects hold heavily Greek connotations and play a role in linking his migration history and his sexual identity. The series was composed over four months, whereby Pantazopoulos explores senses of belonging and the experience of being in a place by moving through and away from it. The artistic perspective provided by Pantazopoulos and other talented artists through ‘Lost in Translocation’ is a critical asset to the collective mind of Australia and its inhabitants on a multitude of different levels. As an expression of experience, the production of artistic installations provides artists with a physical manifestation and objectification of internal experiences. Ultimately, form is given to experiences that otherwise don't often appear in mainstream society. On a collective level, diasporic art, such as that of ‘Lost in Translocation’, represents the diverse nature of our land and the many cultures that comprise it. For Australian society as a whole, diasporic art passionately changes the landscape of our public culture, opening up a public space for social and political cultivation. istic For the collective demographic of migrants which makes up a large part of Australia's identity, diasporic art holds an extremely strong significance in generating a new dialogue within which migrants can openly discuss their suppressed experiences. For the Greek community in particular, such art gives recognition to Greek Australian migrants that they otherwise do not receive. Pantazopoulos' installation ignites strong memories of Greek migrant women and the tradition of tapestry, as well as the persimmon linked to Greece as the fruit of the gods. Translocation refers to the process of moving from one place to another, and in a bid to artistically reflect upon how place affects cultural identity, ‘Lost in Translocation’ holds a strong significance in the Australian art scene and in defining Australia's national identity. To join in celebrating what makes Australia and the lives of those who live here truly unique, head to the ‘Lost In Translocation’ exhibition, located at the RMIT Project Space Spare Room, 23-27 Cardigan Street Carlton until 20 August.
18 July 2015
1 August 2015