Forms, shapes, volumes and shadows make up the first solo exhibition of Myrto Lycopoulou.
Lykopoulou focuses on human interactions. “The pieces I present in the exhibition have been inside me for a long time now. They deal with the interactions we have with others. The difficulty of communication during the coronavirus made me feel that I had to relearn how to be with others. These pieces seem to interact with each other showing me a new language of communication. Some seem to dance, others seem to touch, some are laughing, some are gossiping, shouting or arguing. Some stand stoically or seem to be imposing while others are quiet or even shy. All of them, however, seem to have a mouth and a body that has something to say,” she explains.
“Interactions is my first solo exhibition. I have long wanted to focus on making ceramic art pieces. Production even though creative, it can sometimes become monotonous. So when the idea came up, to start working on a solo exhibition for It’s all, oh so souvenir to me!, I felt really ready for it! It came at a time when I used to walk into the workshop and would not stop making and creating.
Unlike her previous work, “Interactions” is characterised by large shapes and earthy colours. “I chose clays fired at high temperatures so as to bring out the interesting textures and colours. I wanted the forms to speak for themselves, so I didn’t add a lot of colour. The only addition is a volcanic glaze and only to some pieces, which adds another interesting texture. I coated all the pieces with beeswax, which makes the colours look warm and vibrant”.
Ceramics for Myrto Lycopoulou embodies many, different aspects. “It has a very beautiful technical part and something very earthy and primitive”, she notes. “When you enter the studio, you can be a little child and rebuild your world with mud, but you can also pay great attention to detail, which requires dedication, discipline and technical study. Of course, there is also the unstable factor of the fire in the kiln, which in itself hides many surprises”.
In ceramics, the process is more important than the result. “We live in an era where everything is so fast, but most of us spend our days still, in front of a computer screen. Ceramics is a great way to escape. A way to feel like you’re making something with your hands that you can use. That’s how everyone starts. But along the way they discover that in ceramics you have to wait many weeks to see results. And often the result is not what you expected. You often need to fail until you get the result wanted. Ceramics need time. Need patience. And that’s how they all come to understand that it’s the process that’s important in the class, not the result”.
Ceramics is art, it is healing, it is the union of the two. “Ceramics is an art form that is accessible to everyone. And when you know their process, you appreciate what you see much more. In this way, the art of ceramics is given the value it deserves. As a result, we use ceramics more and more in our daily lives. Many restaurants use handmade crockery, while more and more hotels and lots of venues are including handmade ceramics in their spaces.
Myrto Lykopoulou hopes that all this “healthy trend” will change the way we view our great ceramic heritage. ”For many years in Greece we associated ceramics with folk art. And for years it was underestimated. In museums we have the most beautiful forms and the most elaborate ceramics, but I feel that we don’t give them the importance they deserve. There are craftsmen in traditional ceramics who work with extraordinary techniques that are unique in the world and we know nothing about them. Also, all the materials used in ceramics come from Greek soil. And yet almost all the clays we use are imported.
Myrto Lykopoulou, at a very young age, found herself in a ceramics workshop in Crete, where she fell in love with clay. With its smell, texture and its endless possibilities. This led her to England where she studied Fine Arts and Ceramics and continued with an MA in Art Psychotherapy. On her return to Greece, she studied wheel throwing and glazing techniques. She has been teaching ceramics since 2008 and has her own workshop for the past four years. She has participated in various group exhibitions in Greece and England. Since 2015 she collaborates with It’s all, oh so souvenir to me.
Opening: Thursday 30th of March, 2023, 19.30 – 23.00
Duration: 30/03 – 13/04
@ It’s all, oh so souvenir to me! / Sina 44, 10672 Athens