The effect of scale and getting immersed in reverence and meditation are key facets of my work. Through my installations and large-scale pieces, I aspire to create spaces where we are encouraged to concentrate, meditate and come face to face with the innermost truths of our identity. Transcendentalism, prayer and the healing power of meditation play a central role in my practice. My reflection on these ideas aims to offer a transition into an alternate reality; one where feelings of security and fullness coexist with feelings of fear and terror, and when they collide, philosophical and spiritual understandings begin to form.
My practice is an outlet for my lived experiences; therefore, my depiction of the womb is a pictorial exploration of motherhood and maternal relations. This investigation spans from the personal and familial to the universal and timeless. As the daughter of a miner, I was born and raised in a small mining village in Northern Greece, where for countless generations fathers and brothers descended deep into the mineralising corridors of the mine in search of silver, lead, and zinc. As a mother of three now, I am interested in our relationship with the earth that birthed and nurtured us, and through my paintings and multimedia installations I aim to foster an encounter between the viewers and certain transgenerational revelations concerning our position within the universe.
From the womb that lies deep inside the earth to the astral and ontological space that exists outside of human understanding, my creative practice questions existential reality and preconceived notions about the role of humanity and womanhood. It meditatively transforms darkness into luminosity and proposes ways to heal from and deal with our current condition. By negotiating and unfolding what I describe as ‘the uterus of life,’ the symbolic womb that lies deep in the bowels of the earth, I explore what sets space and time in motion, leading them to open, close, expand, contract and pulsate, and reference the origins of celestial mechanics. The motifs I use swirl in a continuous, spiraling flow and are in constant dialogue with my research into metaphysics, natural philosophy, ecology and feminist art theory.
By painstakingly dedicating a great deal of time and labour into creating my large-scale and highly detailed works, I see the making process as an opportunity to meditate and heal from the trauma of the every day. Fixing my attention on a single activity - the process of creating - enables me to exclude everything else from my awareness and to focus on a truth that is universal and liberated from society’s psychological, social and historical constraints.
Harikleia Papapostolou © 2021