I'd like to share the speech that I presented in opening the Art Exhibition at the Hellenic Museum on Sunday the 9th of March, 2014, in celebration of International Women's Day.
A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.-Diane Mariechild.
What started as a conversation between Varvara Ioannou and myself on how to promote women in the community for International Women's Day, gave rise to an idea that flourished to become the remarkable exhibition aptly titled TRANSFORMATION,. Metasximatismos. This revolves around the theme of CHANGE as specified for International Women's Day by the UN. Varvara Ioannou, founder for Food For Thought and 2006 Nominee for Telstra Business Woman of the Year Award and Elizabeth Gertsakis, an art historian and artist in her own right, have worked tirelessly to bind the event together bringing forth the many talents of the artists represented.
The seven Greek Australian Women artists, Dora Kitinas, Tina Sideris, Nikki Doudoulis, Helen Sartinas, Christiana Fanaritis, Anne Warren, and Thalia Andrews, all exemplify their uniqueness and artistic merit through their different mediums. Their individual journeys to inspiring change have been life long, forthcoming, diverse and with complete enlightenment, for themselves and their viewers.
In sharing their work with us the artists lead us into a world that is really a part of an historical tradition of experimentation and acknowledgement of what it means to be a woman, create as a woman and how to create change whilst still having a vision.
It was interesting to note that when we visited the studios to view the works, and meet the artists themselves, I encountered something quite unique. I saw the works as a physical extension of these women. It was as if their creations were another limb, or a part of their brain, or psyche. What I'm saying is that these works are a huge part of these women and their lives. In some ways these works are them.
As a little girl, I remember this artistic vision in the storybooks I collected, titles that you all remember, Fox in Sox, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Town Mouse and The Country House. I could go on, now these books, I would pile methodically next to my bed. One after the other; That pile, but with different books, is still next to my bed. Each pile that I have had has represented a stage of my life and I refuse to put them on the bookshelf until that stage transpires to another. The pile when I was a little girl, was special because it allowed me to read the world visually and to understand it through the eyes of an artist, They were my picture books. The words were bonus. I learnt about the the power of art.
The exhibition will run until the 4th of April.
Stella Dimadis March 2014