Maria Ziaka – 14/05/1986 – 07/06/1986
14 May – 7 June 1986
Mari Ziaka is mainly a printmaker who also devotes much time to painting. She is currently showing her latest work, pastel and mixed media drawings, at the Medusa Gallery.
Her source of inspiration is generally natural landscapes, which Ziaka renders both in painting and printing with the same geometric structure: in horizontal planes of sky, sea and earth stretching across the paper, or in abstracted views set in an interplay of interior and exterior space. Bathed by brilliant light and velvety texture, the landscape evokes a sense of distance and eternity.
The shifting light and atmosphere is beautifully observed and depicted in several seascapes. In one, the sea and sky, shimmer within a pale mist as a luminous light sweeps the edges of the drawing. While in another, golden rays of sunlight streak across a horizon afire with turbulent clouds of swirling purple. The color expressively conveys light and emotion.
Pastels is not a regular medium for most artists, yet Ziaka achieves from it rich and sensuous surfaces of color, lush tonalities – especially from the shades of blue which she seems to prefer – and dramatic contrasts, as in a reclining nude enveloped in fiery orange red and intense blue.
Texture varies from dense in the foreground to transluscent in the sea end sky. By applying her personal technique of embedding pastel dust on an oiled surface – imitating aquatint – Ziaka suggests a three-dimensional surface. Brushed over again with oil, she evokes a sense of fine grains of sand on a golden beach, or debris washed from the sea. She also achieves in this manner a wide range of dark color infusing the foreground with movement and energy.