Buy This Issue
The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 29 June 2019
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 29 JUNE 2019 17 CULTURE The Spirit of Notre Dame The Visitor (2012) is at the Art Gallery of NSW A ndrew Chrysafis is an artist and author. Born to The Beauty of the High Seas 2002; printed 2014 from the Phantomwise series 2002. the world around them. The carefully curated props hurl them into other contexts and characters, camouflaging their own secret intent. I have always seen myself in those images, as I'm sure others do. They summon my own conflicted sense of identity in the netherworld of pre-teen and teen – when I was part servant to the adult world, part superior to it. I think I knew that children may be at the mercy of adult whims, but they have what adults can never have again and that collapse between vulnerability and power is buried deep in Poli's imagery. The turn towards childhood would not surprise any artist– mother, since the experience of birth and child-raising creates its own volatile, captivating world. Watching a human come into itself turns the artist–mother into a whimsical Joseph Banks, recording the specific, wondrous and intimate details of these new discoveries as if they had never been seen before. After years of looking out at the world, the world that is closest to you becomes rife with possibility, enlarged by emotion. I see Poli's ego in her images of her children, who reflect her power and narcissism, as they do in all mothers' creative work – but they also add a kind of humility to her images. Despite our best intentions, our children will become themselves. The how of that is the story of the artist–mother's evolution. Poli brilliantly engaged and captured the terrifying savoir faire of children, as well as their beauty, the playground of identity and camouflage and embellishment and a child's effortless celebrity (especially when they are our own). The techniques and contexts change, but each photographic chapter is part of a continuum that evolves in more and more interesting ways. I witnessed how time manifested through Poli's eye. She graciously accepted the borders around her creative playing field and played so inventively within it. Filled with sky and sand and bush and flora, her subjects play between the real world and artifice, between actual children and their transforming masks, between a painted landscape and a natural one, between childhood's uncontrollable urges and the controlling nature of the camera which holds still – for a split second – its urgent forward momentum. Whenever I left Poli, I drove home with a head full of interesting thoughts. Like Poli herself, her photographs ask more questions than they answer. Her work plays with ambiguities and abstractions, moral conundrums and self-awareness, because that was the terrain of her charismatic mind. Innocence collided with the sophisticated manipulations of art to provoke and excite us, just as our lively and life-enhancing conversations travelled twin roads of poetry and profanity. The book, 'Polixeni Papapetrou', is by Series Editor Natalie King published by Thames & Hudson $29.99 Greek parents in a small village in Cyprus, he began painting from a young age. His vividly coloured paintings have appeared in solo exhibitions and at galleries around the world. His 'Spirit of Notre Dame' captures the recent fire at the French cathedral. "This has been one of the most demanding canvas with lots of details to consider. The biggest tasks of all was to capture peoples' inner feelings during that catastrophic moment that shook the world," he says. "The work is a tribute to the magnificent French Gothic structure and architectural masterpiece that took 182 years to built. The blaze that destroyed its amazing roof structure and unique (300.0 ft.) spire has shaken the world while floods of tears were shed for the loss of one of man's great achievements. The Spirits of Notre Dame captures people's helplessness shared by those witnessing the cathedral's all-consuming inferno reducing its wooden structure to cinders. The blaze not only shuddered people's emotions but it also rekindled millions of dormant spirits from eons past lodged deep inside the hallow ground. They shriek in despair and disperse into the four winds abandoning their home that served humanity for nearly one thousand-years. Knowing man's ingenuity, out of the ashes of despair, a new structure will rise up again to make good things happen and bring solace to those spirits of the past."
22 June 2019
06 July 2019