Playground Lovers

Start Date: 09.03.2023, Duration: 08.04.2023

The Blender Gallery proudly presents the group show titled “Playground Lovers”, opening on Thursday 9 March at 7pm. The exhibition is an ode to our carefree life period, a bittersweet throwback to our childhood and how we used to imagine the future world. The artists were invited to respond visually to the following letter using different media, ranging from pyrography, photography, sculptures, ceramics, video art, painting on paper and prints.

Dear me, 

Ηow did you process your feelings?
What do you wish you could have said or done differently at that time? I am writing this from the future. The future that you thought that will have flying cars, aliens, houses in the sky and food pills. You know what? Nothing happened. Everything is the same more or less. TVs got bigger, the world is louder and everyone is so busy. And what about the rest? Life, love? I don’t want to ruin the surprise for you. Let me just say to you that life turned out better than you imagined. Sit back and enjoy the journey kiddo.

Kostas Berdeklis’ “Miniatures”  is a set of small-scale works. They reflect a transition and dealing with more personal issues, the memories but also a time of maximization and the end of the “painting compulsion” of the artist. In this project, he applies paint on personal photographs in a photo-realistic way, covering parts of the main subject with other elements, giving the feeling of a painting collage.

Thodoros Brouskomatis’ work belongs to the “Holy” series that includes 12 digital compositions, based on religious themes, mainly of the renaissance but with a playful element. In this project he keeps the outlines of the form and “fills” the content with patterns that he either finds ready-made on the internet or creates himself.

In Aggelos Chaniotis’ surrealist work, nature, the human element and buildings have a leading role. In particular, he states that nature shows us a subtle beauty that is sometimes threatening at the same time. Landscapes that open in depth, flowers, coconut palms, water challenge us to travel to the joys that carelessness has offered us and to feel the relief of our contact with her. Being close to nature as a kid consists of everything that we can see and feel. It is a home to different kinds of living and non-living beings.

Marianna Dervos’ artwork a sculptural piece titled “Justine” is the answer to the following letter which is written by her “Dearest self, You’ll have to learn how to live with grief. You’ll have to make time for play, even in the hardest of times. To cheat pain and to wash away your fears. You’ll have to strike the right balance between light and darkness. In the end you’ll see – this journey, with all its moments, the good and the bad, will shape you. And all of the ups and downs won’t be in vain. They’ll be worth it.”

Chris Doulgeris’ “The Schools Project” is an ongoing photographic project recording) school buildings, out of use, in the Greek territory and is a manifestation of his broader study of the relationship between memory, materiality and temporality. Through a typological study and recording of educational institutions in different landscapes, from mountainous abandoned villages to Mediterranean islands, questions arise regarding the construction of memory at a personal as well as a national level.

The enigmatic work of Jordan Kalimerakis entitled “For the feeling that I lost today” with the method of pyrography which is one of the most ancient techniques, has elements from the urban landscape in which he lives and the loneliness that one can experience in this. The colourful topographies that are depicted in his artworks, reveal the artists’ preoccupation with inner self through the small figure standing alone in a vast surrounding. A characterless figure that anyone can easily identify with.

Alexandros Maganiotis explores issues related to his own identity, his surroundings, his family background, the roles he is called to play in his daily life as shaped by his family or imposed by society in general. The artwork “ Replacement” works on two levels, a childhood photo of Maganiotis is superimposed on a photo of a house, like the houses we used to draw as children. A household find comes and activates the artwork, a wall hanger that when a hook broke,  his father without a second thought, replaced it with a random metal one.

Eirini Theodosi (izzy) with her ceramic “Magic Mirror” wants to propose the redefinition of our childhood self through the awareness of “Now”, asking her own mirror “how would I love this child if I could restart everything?” and to function through a second – adult – stage of the mirror. Now, the formed adult Ego is redefined through Fantasy, the dream. Identity remains blurred like the mirror, forever in flux based on her life and experiences. So finally the adult reconnects with the child, closing a circle and opening another.

Eleni Tsamadia with her video artwork titled “Venus De Milo” states that “We grow with a gender type. It is defining for us and for many of the choices we make. Thus its flux is hidden in pictures and memories that only flash instantly and arbitrarily. What is tangible about it? Its results and the choices that lead up to these. So I chose to pretend to be Venus and play with the consequences of her concreteness. What do I have at stake here? Nothing, since this image haunted her in the past…But sometimes it feels nice to remember and even nicer to forget.”