Efrossini Chaniotis is a formally trained artist. Her work is as dynamic and larger than life as her personality. She works with painting and mixed media – including collage – and responds to shapes and colours as they emerge, working spontaneously with her pieces. Her work is fluid and her pieces develop as she goes. On the other hand, Vasy Petros’ artwork is calculated. She works with collage, and collage alone to create landscape pieces on a small scale. New to the art scene and self-taught, her personality is as serene as the images she creates. But together this ying and yang of the Greek Australian art world have found commonalities through their pieces, characteristics as Greek Australian women and have formed a bond that has enabled them to forge a presence on the art scene in Australia. Both artists met at the Antipodean Palette Art Exhibition this year – an exhibition held by the Greek Australian Cultural League to celebrate the creativity and work of Greek Australian artists. Although they had no knowledge of each other’s work prior to the exhibition, they met – as fate would have it – not at the opening night but by chance. One day as they were swapping shifts to mind the exhibition both women got talking – as artists do – and discovered that through their differences lay some very common elements. Vasy’s entry into the art world is an inspiration and a story to be told in itself. It was her want to create, in the eyes of various limitations that spawned her work. It was, again by fateful chance that Vasy got to experiment with collage by helping out her daughter with a university assignment. She found creating images using collage relaxing and therapeutic and decided to create some pieces through some photos she had of landscapes. With no formal training, her eye for colour and creating these pieces shows her understanding of art is inherent. Her journey into art has seen her stick with the medium of collage for now, and create pieces on a small scale. “I started small because I wasn’t confident,” explains Vasy, “that’s why most of my collages are very small and [Efrossini’s] are quite big.” “I find [Vasy’s] skill level and natural ability remarkable, I was taken aback by that and excited by that,” says Efrossini. Whilst talking that day, the two artists realised they had both worked with collage in their pieces. Efrossini’s work with collage isn’t as obvious to the eye as Vasy’s collages. With two fine arts degrees under her belt, and training in Australia and Greece, Efrossini uses the medium of collage as yet another technique in creating her works. It could at times be 10 per cent of her piece or 40 per cent, with the rest being painting, as this artist isn’t bound by limitations yet rather works with what evolves. “When you think about the definition of collage it can be very disparate elements coming together to create a new whole,” Efrossini tells Neos Kosmos and nothing could be more true than these two artists coming together. “There’s nothing gimmicky about what we are doing, there is no intention to find commonalities – they are there purely from the basis on our differences. Even our personalities, scale and method of working and subject matter, self-taught and trained the differences are there, but it’s when you really sit back to look at the work you find commonalities.” Vasy adds that she found it difficult to find another artist that was creating pieces using collage, so was over the moon when she discovered Efrossini’s work. But for now, she has her first exhibition Stuck On to look forward to. “For someone who hasn’t exhibited this is just amazing and I am so grateful that I met someone that can take me on this journey,” says Vasy. And for Efrossini, who has selflessly divulged her knowledge and experiences as an exhibiting artist, says that this just goes to show what you can do if you have the impulse to create. “There is no right or wrong,” says Efrossini about creating, whether that be art, words, or music, “but the impulse to create is the one thing that connects all people”. “There is nothing stopping a human being from putting pen to paper and even sketching out an idea that could be a masterpiece.” Stuck On, an exhibition of the works by Efrossini Chaniotis and Vasy Petros, opens on Friday 28 September and runs until Thursday 25 October at the Beth Hulme Gallery and Studio, 646a Nicholson Street, North Carlton. For more information visit www.bethhulme.com