Maria Pesma

About daily rituals is the survey conducted by Greek artist MARIA PESMA, hosted in the “Ritual” room.

Of Greek origin, Maria Pesma studied fine arts (painting) in England (De Montfort University, 1987), followed by a postgraduate course in Theatre Design with a British Council scholarship award (Nottingham Trent University, 1993). As a theatre designer she has designed sets and costumes for plays and dance productions in England and Greece, including plays by Beckett, Weiss, Pinter, Bond, Lorca, Sophocles and Euripides, and has participated in improvisational workshops in collaboration with Growtowski actors. Since 2005 she has been working as an interior designer in collaboration with architects alongside the continuous development of her painting. She has participated in numerous collective and 11 solo shows of paintings, installations and sculptural costumes. At present she divides her life between England (Cambridge) and Greece. Since 2008 she has an art studio open to the public in the island of Patmos. She taken part in several exhibition in Greece and abroad.

The paintings exhibited have taken everyday ‘rituals’ of contemporay human activity, such as washing, watching tv, playing cards, etc. and developed them into something becoming almost archetypal, depicting human condition and emotions, seen with both a sense of tragedy and comedy. Hence the woman washing her face could also be a woman crying or performing a ritual of cleansing, the couple watching tv could be an image of alienation, someone playing cards could depict loneliness, etc. These paintings reflect and are part of a series in which the artist develops a visual imagery originating from her interest and work in theatrical and architectural space, and the human presence in it.

Works such as “Adam and Eve” intent on a table prepared dishes or “Ceremony” representing a human figure at the moment when he wash his face, are just some of the works on display that denote a stylistic and conceptual art gained both in personal interpretation, both in the phenomenology of translations by the anachronistic concept of time passing. Works which stress curiosity, portraits of figures caught in their private and professional everyday life: when lying, when they get up and eat and work, when they walk or read or care about. These curious glimpses reveal habits, vices, secrets, foibles, quirks and phobias of our time.

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