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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 11 May 2019
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 11 MAY 2019 15 ART antique shop and in a corner, saw an old suitcase filled with postcards covered in dust. "So many forgotten words, lost in time. "Those postcards, written in every language and sent from every corner of the earth brought people together with invisible strings made of love. Words always unite us and manage to erase the kilo-metric distance that separates. Sometimes a few words are enough to keep human contact alive with the hope of reunion." Moments and triggers like these are what inspire Heidi. Moments and triggers stemming from everything happening around her. "It may sound like a cliche, but there's nothing that doesn't inspire me. A person, an experience, a beautifully eerie sunset, a friend in need of support; can all be sources of inspiration. Even a stranger with whom I'd cross paths for a few seconds. But I mainly write for me. To battle my own demons." Indeed, Heidi began to write for herself, as a form of 'therapy', even though she cannot exactly pinpoint when she started writing creatively. "I'm dyslexic, so writing for me was a catalyst. I found it hard to speak and every word would find its place whilst filling up blank pages. "I did it for me," she says reminiscing. It was a school holiday when she wrote and read out loud her first poem at the age of 10. That's when her mum bought her a typewriter for Christmas. "Perhaps she knew deep inside, even though I myself had no idea what the future would hold. The irony is that I still use typewriters. That's how I write my poetry. "I'm still uncertain when it comes to labelling what I do; if it is creative writing. I just write down everything I'm feeling. Everything that sets my insides on fire, everything I'm scared of, everything I hope for." The future did hold a surprise in store for her, a twist in the plot that took much away but also showered her with even more inspiration and hope. "I was a bit of a wanderluster since I was a kid. I'm the one that would scream the loudest demanding an excursion in school; the one looking up at the sky wishing they were on one of those planes, heading anywhere." And so she did. She jumped on one of those planes and found herself on the other side of the world, in Australia. "I believe that the journey entails the meeting, the escape, the new experience. For me personally, Australia and specifically Melbourne where I live is that new horizon, that new experience. A new source of inspiration if you will. It is a gift to interact with complete strangers up until yesterday, getting familiar with new cultures, smelling the aromas of local foods, getting lost in alleyways of different cities. Life itself is a journey through and among people, smells, flavours and moments that become memories." When asked where she sees herself further down the line she responds that the only thing she knows with certainty is that she will keep on writing her poems, using them as captions for her images. "I have another short novel in the works," she reveals. "To tell you the truth, it's more reminiscent of a travel journal of someone in love. A wanderer's travel journal. It's titled 'Traverse', as in the nautical term. "We might also be publishing a 'Lack of postcards vol. 2'. Let us be optimistic and hopeful like that!" For more of Heidi's poems and photographs head to www.instagram. com/heidi_seraphim/ Remembering Christella Demetriou through her paintings C omposer, musician and visual artist, Christella Demetriou passed away in 2018, at the age of 52 after a long battle with cancer. Melbourne's creative community, especially the Greek music community, have been mourning the loss of the talented Cypriot and will be holding a retrospective featuring a selection of works spanning Christella's career as well as artefacts celebrating her diverse and multi-layered creative life as an artistic polyglot. The exhibition is named after Christella's childhood nickname 'Monster Tooth' and a letter her dear friend, artist and curator Elizabeth Gertsakis addressed to her on the day after her death, titled 'Run and fly, beautiful one!'. Esther Anatolitis, Executive Director of the National Association for the Visual Arts, opened the exhibition alongside commissioner, Rosaria Zarro, representing the Victorian Multicultural Commission. Artist and curator, chair of arts Mildura board and founder of the Museum of Innocence of Mildura, Domenico De Clario, also joined poet Andrea Demetriou (The Inconsolable Clock) who spoke about her work. She not only excelled as a painter, but was also a composer, a classic instrumentalist of the bouzouki, an unknown poet and an athlete. Christella's family arrived in Australia as refugees in 1976 and it was exactly that heritage and dual identity that inspired her. The deeply rooted pain of being uprooted, of not belonging, and finally her constant and chronic confrontation with cancer are indelible themes of her work. "Christella's paintings make for difficult, but soulful viewing. They are darkly euphoric explorations of the contrasting, often conflicting, modes of abstract expression. They endure because they explore a longing; a constant search," acclaimed curator Mitch Goodwin, once said. Throughout her career, she exhibited widely and performed in both Australia and Greece, painting her feelings and her despair at the elusiveness and the falsification of love. Her inability to reconcile her dreams with reality, her mother with her father, life with death, the invisible wound with the visible indifference are also quite evident in her works. That 'inability' or rather a coping mechanism that turned Christella into what is called an 'artistic cryptographer'; she used abstraction to hide within her paintings everything she could not endure, everything she could not face. She had found a way to use the raw directness of her poetry and the indirectness of her colours and depictions as communicating vessels. But from her hospital bed, when she was stripped of all sense of ego, insecurity or fear, she spoke her last words of love. Looking her sister straight in the eye, she said, "People are afraid to look at love directly, it's overpowering. You are pure love, inside out, upside down, from all angles." She also whispered to her, slowly and in anguish, "Life is a journey in the desert without relief… but you break the nightmare." When: Ends on 30 May 2019. Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm Where: Darebin Arts Centre, cnr Bell St & St Georges Rd, Preston, VIC POETRY NIGHT On Monday, 13 May, at 7 pm at Ithaca house (Level 2, 329 Elizabeth St, Melbourne) academic Nick Trakakis will present his translation of major contemporary Greek poet Tassos Livaditis, whose poems have been set to music by Mikis Theodorakis. Some of the most polemic poems of Vassos Lyssarides, legendary leader and honorary president of the Socialist Party of Cyprus, will be read as a tribute on his 99th birthday; Edward Caruso will speak about his new poetry collection Blue Milonga which travels across the natural and political landscape of Argentina and Chile. Garry Foley will present Andrea Demetriou's poetry book, The Inconsolable Clock, which expands from the wars for resources to the existential dead end, and is introduced by Christos Tsiolkas. Finally poems by Christella Demetriou, translated by her friend Pavlos Andronikos, will be read. For more information contact 0414 420 139.
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