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Converting the past

Archaeologist Polina Sapouna-Ellis creates ancient Greek-inspired jewellery

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08 December 2016

Polina Sapouna-Ellis is an archaeologist by training, with a doctorate in classical archaeology from the University of Heidelberg in Germany. She has excavated on the islands of Crete and Evoia for many years with renowned Greek archaeologists Yanni and Effie Sakellaraki. She also studied history of art, and is an accomplished painter. Her life among invaluable treasures of ancient art, as well as her own need to create, led her to painting and ultimately to her true passion − jewellery design.

"My approach to jewellery design stems from the architectural perspective. Symmetria, the ancient Greek concept of counterbalance, is fundamental. I believe in the power of geometry," Polina says.

Polina Sapouna Ellis

Simplicity and symmetry are fundamental norms of ancient Greek art and the source of Polina Sapouna-Ellis' inspiration.

"The simplicity of clean geometrical shapes inspires and intrigues me, while it lends minimalistic and often futuristic elements to many of my creations. I view each piece of jewellery as a sculpture, a small structure born out of a concept, urging me to define how it will invade space; should it be large or small, shiny, matte, timid, assertive."

"I want my jewellery to be dynamic and often transformable, convertible to accommodate one's mood. Each one of my works produces its own unique ambience, simultaneously impacting and accommodating both body and soul of those wearing it," she goes on.

As an archaeologist, ancient Greek shapes and motifs permeate her designs. The collections 'Dorian', 'Meander' or 'Antithesis' are triggered by the austere simplicity of ancient Greek norms. The Greek landscape, the sea - 'Thalassa', which Polina adores - infuses and invigorates her work as well.

"It was the sea that spawned my collection 'Kyma' (wave)," she explains.

"The human condition also inspires me. All the pieces in my 'convertible' collection: 'Eros', 'Connection', 'Harmony', worn in various ways, reflect the human need to connect."

Overall, Polina's designs are a fusion of all that surrounds her both physically and conceptually; the Greek archaeology, landscape, art, science and philosophy inspire and guide her work.

"Our body and soul need to be replenished by positive energy," she stresses.

"Life is a continuous endeavour to balance among continuously revolving circles. So we need sparkles of light and beauty to strengthen our emotional state. A piece of art, a jewel, precious metals and stones influence our existence more than one can imagine.
"Art can rescue our souls and reinforce our presence!"

For further information, visit greekstylecouncil.com

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