Issue Eleven

Stephanie Katapodi

Athens, Greece

I started drawing when I was most of us did. I continued because patterns and colours were the only way I could make sense of the world around me. I grew up with a mother that gave me a fairytale explanation for any real-life question I had, and that developed my way of processing and accepting any form of mistreat and suffering that I encountered in my life. I could never see it for what it was, I could only decode it into a beautiful fairytale. So to me there was never a bad situation, there were simply interactions with deeper and colder colours. I kept that approach for most of my life because it aligned with the fact that I have synesthesia. Then all changed when I moved to England to study law. I was left to deal with myself so all the darkness that I had repressed throughout my life came out in the form of obsessively repetitive patterns. None of the above influences on me have truly been resolved, but I am embracing hints of light when I am producing art.

My approach is simple. I reproduce people's soul-prints on my mind. When I meet a person I view them as a form of a muse. It is almost a hobby for me to try to see through their masks and truly understand them. Once they show me a hint of their darkness I mentally absorb it and am overwhelmed by their need to express their story. The product of this process is usually a poem, a drawing or even a song on the piano. It depends on what I see as fit to truly burst the colours I absorbed out of me. I do experience feelings though when a person intrigues the production of expectations, excitement or other joyous feelings in my brain. I almost automatically match those feelings with my overwhelming need for peace, and as a result I blend them with melancholic or nostalgic colours. The main reason for that is that I cannot accept any of that joy. It sounds too loud and puts me off balance.

I recently realised however that despite our innate masochistic need to find peace in suffering and shame, art can truly keep us locked in our cage. That innate need of ours has probably developed from our religious upbringing. Most famous religions these days preach a form of shame, suffering and humility. This instantly makes us more likely to accept pain. We deem it as the only thing that is real in this otherwise confusing world. Even media use pain to keep us humble. So, we end up uniting over all the things that tear our bodies, hearts, minds and souls apart. I do not want my art to keep people imprisoned. My goal is for my art to develop into something that would allow people to acknowledge their demons and urge them to choose to see that they hold the key to the handcuffs that they are wearing. This is also how I want to be remembered as when I depart from this world; even if that property is not assigned to me as the property of an artist. Besides so far I can only prove that I am a lawyer. //