Bring space to light
Greek Australian projection artist Nick Azidis is set to light up the streets of Melbourne at this year’s Gertrude Street Projection Festival
"For me it's using the medium of projection for all the different possibilities - to create a totally different space for an installation or art work," explains Nick Azidis about his work. Nick is a Greek Australian projection artist - an art form that tells stories through ideas, images, shapes, light and colour in a transparent format. In his own words, he says his work "temporarily blends in or adds another layer or dimension to an existing environment - making you notice and think about the space differently".
From an early age, Nick has been involved in the arts, starting off in the medium of metalwork. But what initially drew him to this artwork - the idea that something he created would last forever - has since changed in his older years.
"I'm doing the complete opposite," he tells Neos Kosmos. "I'm now drawn to the idea of creating work that leaves no trace, as in imitates life, the projection is only short moment experience, then it's stored somewhere in your memory."
Born and bred in Melbourne, Nick has 18 years projection experience under his belt. His work sees him create aesthetically beautiful projects that transform a viewer's perception of their surroundings. His love of projections and passion for lighting - as well as his technical skill - combine to bring a fresh visual perspective to every project he works on. And, as a Melbourne boy, he says that he is constantly inspired by the city of Melbourne itself - the buildings and the ever changing streets. But inspiration for him is found everywhere and his artwork allows Nick to be as creative as possible.
"Inspiration is found everywhere with projections, some of the things that inspire and influence me include architecture, photography and repetitive background patterns and motifs," he says.
"I'm also influenced by symbols; logos; trademarks; geometrical and optical art; Chinese lattice designs; traditional Japanese stencils; silk fabric designs; textures; traditional Arabic designs and Aboriginal art."
Nick has worked on a number of significant projects in his time including: Australian Tennis Open, Melbourne International Arts Festival, Rod Stewart, Melbourne Writers Festival; Sydney Opera House, The Black Eyed Peas, Melbourne Biennial, L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival, Sydney Skoda Stadium but says future projects always remain a secret. For now, Nick is literally back in the spotlight as one of the artists taking part in the Gertrude Street Projection Festival on from July 20 - 29. For the ten days, 30 sites in and around Gertrude Street - windows, lane ways, walls, footpaths, shop interiors, tree-trunks and whole buildings - will be illuminated with visions of a number of established projection artists including Nick. This is Nick's fourth time in the festival.
Having two parents who are of Greek origin has influenced this artists' work a great deal and seen him embrace his father's Pontian background in a theatrical projection for Mairead Hannan of Euphonia and work with the Australian Pontian Theatre Company Kyklos. Nick says he was drawn to these projects because of the fact that they linked the old with the new; the cultural diversities of histories with the now.
"It was nostalgic," he says, "and that presented a nice and memorable opportunity to finally invite my parents to view my work, and I have to say, Pontian music can be quite strong and emotional, that tugs at your heart … but then again, I am Greek."
You can catch Nick Azidis' projection art as part of the Gertrude Street Projection Festival, Gertrude Street, Fitzroy from 20 - 29 July, 6:00 pm - midnight daily. The festival is free. For more information visit www.thegertrudeassociation.com. The festival will be held over 30 sites in and around Gertrude Street, including Brunswick Street Gallery, Smith St, Atherton Gardens Housing Estate, Rose Chong and many more.
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