An exceptional body of work has been brought to London for the first time by the Greek artist Harikleia Papapostolou, who rejoices in the ability of humanity to draw the qualities of light, strength and beauty from the ever-changing world around her.
Her indomitable optimism shines through the temper of her boldly colourful canvases as she adroitly applies layers of oils, elevating her themes to the universal.
Harikleia Papapostolou endows her works with assertive titles, such as Expansion to the Silver Light, Together, and I Love You, but she is confident that whoever sees them will come to their own interpretations and conclusions. “I prefer the viewer to discover their own answers,” she said in a recent interview, and insists that the works are always of “changing reading.”
All credit is due to London fine art consultant Diane Soames for introducing Harikleia Papapostolou to discerning UK audiences, who will surely appreciate the artist’s original and memorable use of colour in a manner treating of empathy with all that is worthy of celebration in human nature. The title of this latest exhibition, Breathing Colours, gives expression to Harikleia’s facility in eliciting luminous hues from her surroundings, physical and mental: “I love colour, and I need it in my life,” she says. She is indeed living and breathing that gift of nature, which is colour.
Her joy in building her structures in paint and her ardour for her principles of hope and faith are palpable and inalienable. Matching a liberal experimentation with colour and the self-assurance exuded in the emergence of the abstract forms, these works are monumental. She sees the pieces as symbolising life itself, pulsating and illuminated.
In employing abstract form she creates a vehicle for freedom of expression at the same time as the product develops its autonomy. She admits to once imagining that her work might struggle to find a response from spectators, but says that to her surprise she discovered that it strikes a chord with many people. This underlines her belief that there is no need fully to comprehend a work of art; rather one should just “feel” it. Art is the ability to build your own world free from undue outside influence, and art and culture can counter-balance changing conditions such as societal shifts, she asserts.
Art can change your perspective, your needs and your feelings for the better. We
have greater need than we might think of art, which among its roles is as a place of our refuge, says Harikleia.
She explains: “My obsession is to depict the constant movement of life pulsating. This collection reveals my need for light, since there is a luminous form even in my darkest works. There is a connection for me between all things, emotions, and being: everything conceals creativity, continuation, development, movement. Movement is life.
“Attempting to decide upon specific, characteristic elements creates imbalance. Balance is the understanding that we are comprised of contradictions. An element of my work is a proclivity towards continuation-evolution, towards the unpredictable as a positive state connected to expectancy. It is established out of necessity: the unpredictable is our tendency, our natural course. In my art there is a hidden need for haste before life itself overtakes us. This leads me to conclude that every person has their individual speed which causes them to follow their own rhythm.
“I state my perspective with specific forms as symbols, yet colour is also a powerful symbol for me. I always want my colours to be adaptable to change through light.