Sydney-based creative Yioryios Papayioryiou, whose passion for the abstract form has received several accolades, explores the many ways architectural principles can translate into fashion and art. Mainly drawing inspiration from Sydney’s iconic Opera House and Jørn Utzon’s edgy work, the young artist presents his latest exhibition, titled ‘Distorting the Inherent’, where he rebuilds his surroundings into a more abstract environment.

Yioryios does not restrict his creativity to solely one form of expression, but using a variety of mediums such as painting, sculpture and jewelry design, he plays with shapes to formulate impressive sculptures. His works have travelled to the Australian embassy in Paris, after a series of successful exhibitions in both Sydney and Melbourne. Yioryios has recently been featured in the acclaimed Artist Profile Magazine, getting rave reviews.

Using cooled and heated aluminium he manipulates his sinuous objects, creating fluid-like shapes by bending the metal in an instant. When he paints, he uses his hands in order to have a more “physical connection” to his work. The lines and coloured angles contribute to the final effect which is easily distorted by the changing light and the shadows, creating a geometric visual play with negative space. Yioryios tries to capture movement, the inspirational core of his designs which seem to morph into different objects of changing size every time the viewer interacts with them.

The ‘Distorting the Inherent’ exhibition at Artereal Gallery (747 Darling Street, Rozelle) in Sydney opened its doors on Wednesday, and Yioryios’ works will be showcased until 28 May. Neos Kosmos sat down with the Greek Australian artist, who let us into his complex creative process.

When did you first realise you wanted to be an artist?
It has always been a provident part of my life, where being/wanting to be an artist formed when I was quite young.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
For this body of work architecture has been a strong inspiration for me, abstracting our surroundings and creating a new response in relation to architecture. My fascination with architecture and curiosity as an artist has led my practice to where it is now, and I am looking forward to seeing what other mediums I can manipulate to represent and explore such a complex notion.

Are there any other creatives you look up to whose legacy has influenced your work?
The likes of Anish Kapoor, Alexander Calder and Wassily Kandinsky have been strong influences towards my development and understanding of where I would like to take my art practice – especially for their sculptural, abstracted, painterly and wearable aspects.

What do you feel makes your work unique and truly your own?
Where the viewer is able to see into my mind and thought process, represented through my artworks.

What is the most challenging part about not repeating yourself creatively?
Actually, if you’re not able to repeat yourself creatively, you’re not able to develop your practice. Your work becomes stagnant and faces no growth. Your practice and ideas need to be pushed in order to create a progressional strength in the work.

Would you be able to guide us through your creative process; the different materials and mediums that you use? Also, can you tell us what the most difficult part about using different mediums is?
I use different mediums for different purposes. When using oil paint, I use it for the rich, sticky, and textural quality. I use acrylic paint to gain a clean and sharp effect. I like painting on aluminium because I am able to distort and manipulate its shape. I would describe myself as a mixed-media artist, as I like pushing the boundaries of tradition and exploring the different applications that paint can take form. The most challenging part about using different mediums is creating a harmony between them.

How would you describe what is being showcased at the ‘Distorting the Inherent’ exhibition?
I will be showcasing sculptures which deal with the inherent patterns sourced from architecture – by either taking the patterns and shapes of a column, or the particular angle of a building, and then removing and transforming these outlines and translating it into aluminium. I then distort these characteristics through the pliable nature of aluminium.

What does ‘movement’ mean for Yioryios?
When I move around and within a space, I see how it can morph into its surrounds as the light changes, and it is this notion that I wish to capture. I attempt to deconstruct the fundamentals of architecture, stripping it of its functionality and order to be left with what it is that creates the aesthetically fascinating dimensions that I see and feel when inside a well-designed space.

Movement is very important to my work on many levels. I wish for the viewer to interact with my work, moving around the object, watching the cast shadow move, experiencing the shifts in weight, colour, tone … The shadow morphs the object into a changing shape and size, reliant on its surroundings and conditions. The changing nature of light in turn creates further movement. I choose to apply a highly reflective, smooth painted surface to the objects to allow the piece to not only reflect its surrounds, but also absorb them. I want the work to take on its surrounds, denoting an integral principle of the architecture of modernist design.

Ultimately, I attempt to allude to one’s interaction with the beauty of the ephemeral quality of a space and our experience within it.

You have taken your sculpting one step further, turning it into statement jewellery. For what type of woman do you design your jewellery for?
The woman who has the confidence to wear the piece.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
A step further in developing my practice.

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