The world of Theano Giannezi is a mix of fiction, music, reality, plethora of materials and techniques, which the artist exceptionally engulfs on every artwork she presents.

Theano Giannezi,  Intergalactic space travel, project by Veerle Nanna, November 2017

 

Otherworldly female and male figures, paper installations which seem like floating on air, pieces of wood that get new life through her eyes, are only some of the mediums through which the artist from Thessaloniki, Greece expresses her artistic vision that derives from her inner world combined with a vivid imagination, as a response to the world around her.

 

Theano Giannezi, Forever Young, 2016

Theano Giannezi, Diorama, 2016, 300 x 300 cm, papercut installation. 70 (A3 size) sheets of paper, cut by hand, inspired by the curves of nature

ANATOMY OF HUMAN HEART Inspire Project 2017 , “A deed without a name” Workshop with the artist Ruthi Helbitz Cohen. Mixed media, 2017, Painting Installation, Dimensions variables, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece

ANATOMY OF HUMAN HEART Inspire Project 2017 , “A deed without a name” Workshop with the artist Ruthi Helbitz Cohen. Mixed media, 2017, Painting Installation, Dimensions variables, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece

 

It gets evident that a single form of art is not enough for Theano, since music is also important part of her life and artistic expression. Craang is the music band of which she has been a member for several years now.
Theano Giannezi, Craang, 2017
Theano Giannezi, To the Estimated Size of the Universe – Craang, 2014 Artwork Design for the album cover of the band Craang
Based in Thessaloniki and having already participated in various music and art festivals in Greece and other countries, Theano Giannezi is a promising young artist who does not stop evolving, learning and dreaming through her work.

I met Theano shortly before leaving for the second time for the Glo’Art residence in Lanaken, Belgium. Between preparations we found some time to talk about the past, the present and the unknown future.

When everything started? Where you grew up? How were you like as a child and as a teenager?

It all started in Thessaloniki where I was born, I studied and where I still live. The past few years I have moved to the center of the city where I have formed my private work space while at the same time I often travel in order to participate in art projects.

My love for travelling is mainly due to my family. We are very close and we travel together regularly. I believe that this fact has offered me through the years the opportunity to experience art in various countries and to explore a plethora of different aesthetics.

In general, since I was a child I had a very vivid imagination and growing up I began to express this more and more through my creations and constructions, even through the way I dressed.

When you realize for the first time your passion for the arts? Any memories of first drawings or other artistic endeavors?

From the very first moment that I caught a pencil and scissors in my hands I realized that I would hardly ever let them down. I started painting from a very young age. Soon after, I began to incorporate other materials on my paintings, either cut pieces from various sources, found objects around the house or at the graphic design office that my mother worked for.

As a painter herself, she taught me basic painting techniques and the ways of implementing them in my work and even today I still ask for her advice.

From the very moment that I started painting, I never stopped. Gradually over the years I learned how to express my artistic mind also through other forms of art such as music and sewing.

Theano Giannezi, Untitled,  2017

Theano Giannezi, Untitled,  2017

Why the School of Fine Arts in Thessaloniki? When you decided that you want to follow Fine Art studies? How was your experience those five years? Any doubts about this decision?

I knew that I wanted to study at the School of Fine Arts from the very first moment that I heard it exists. I started my preparation for the entry exams while I was still in high school and I felt very happy and proud when I finally secured a place there.

I think that I got well trained and equipped with the right mindset and skills from this school, both through teaching and the curriculum offered but also by getting acquainted with various inspiring artists.

However, I must say that overall the art schools in Greece have a significant lack of infrastructure and equipment and thus they do not help students to reach their full potential.

In general, I never felt doubts about the studies and profession that I chose to follow, but I would like also to explore different aspects of art such as fashion design or sculpting in the near future.

Thessaloniki is characterized by many as an artistic city. Which is your personal opinion? How this city affects/ed you as an artist?

Thessaloniki is for sure a very active artistic place. A person interested in arts would find there fertile ground for inspiration and experimentation.

I have lived all my life in this city so obviously it has influenced my work both positively as well as negatively because despite its inexhaustible inspiration, it is not very easy for any artist to survive in Greece of 2017, either in Thessaloniki or any other Greek city.

Due to my nature, I have a strong tendency to ”fly away” so I am constantly trying to leave for as long as I can. At some point I would like to make a bigger step and try to live abroad permanently.

You tend to present many different figures through your work. Are they real or fictional entities? How do you decide the theme, materials and the medium for each of your projects?

The faces that I paint represent dreamy deities that exude calmness and tranquility. They emerge through ethereal environments inspired by the curves of nature with recurring motifs and fainting contours.

Overall,  I am inspired by photographs in order to set up the position and movement of my figures and then I use my imagination to complete each project.

The final version results from continuous experimentation and testing. It is a mix of random connections of various materials and techniques such as collage, paper, wood, dried flowers, chains, beads, golden leaves, bones, insects and more.

Theano Giannezi, Ivy , mixed media, 30 x 40 cm, 2017, Kos island, Greece

Theano Giannezi, Pagan Poetry, created for the 7PLY Project exhibition 2017

Theano Giannezi, Holy Skate, created for the 7PLY Project exhibition 2016

 

Craang. Tell me about your participation in this music band. The importance of music in your life? Have you ever combined or do you think of combining sound and image in your work?

I started playing with Craang three years ago, after creating the cover of their first album. We connected  immediately both musically but also as people. A while ago we recorded our second album, which will be ready soon.

Music has always been an integral part of my life. I started playing piano from a very age, then cello and in recent years I have been dedicated to bass. I believe that music has helped me significantly on a psychological level and has also influenced my artworks.

I have often been inspired for some of my artworks under the sound of music, so I intend to combine installations with image projection and sound in the future.

 

 

Lately you begun to use more color in your work. How’s this choice? Do you want to highlight something specific through color?

It is on my future plans to do more painting projects with color.  There was no specific reason, only a need for evolution and experimentation with a different medium from the ones that  I have become accustomed with so far.

 

Theano Giannezi, Κing Protea, 2017
Theano Giannezi, Colored Pencils Drawings, 18 x 18 cm, charcoal, golden leaf and colored pencils, 2017, Belgium
Officially for the second time at the Glo’Art residency in Belgium. How was the first experience? What it offered you? How you decided to go back?

My participation at the Glo’Art residency was a unique experience. I lived in Belgium for a month, where I came into contact with remarkable artists who made me feel welcome from the very first moment. I decided to go back, not only because of the exceptional facilities and working conditions but also because it gave me access to a plethora of materials.

In addition, the trust and support given to us by the team there, as well as the friendly atmosphere among the artists, were very important. So, I went back to Belgium and I am already in the final phase of the completion of my new artwork.

Glo’Art Residency, Garden Gallery, Lanaken, Belgium, November 2017

Theano Giannezi’s Eclipse is now displayed  in the Garden Gallery of  Glor’Art. The artist created this artwork during her stay at the artist residency from May to June 2017.

Theano Giannezi, Treasures,  Mixed media, DIN A3- 170g/m2 , 2017, Lanaken, Belgium

Theano Giannezi, Eclipse, mixed media, 120 x 80 cm, 2017, Lanaken, Belgium

Artist of the 21st century. How do you perceive yourself within this context? Which do you things are the main characteristics of artists today?

From my point of view, painting and in general any means of involvement with art, is some sort of a shelter where I can enjoy freedom of expression and where I can reflect my thoughts and concerns in a unique way. It is a way of communicating with the world.

We see that art constantly changes and takes new forms. This means that for every artist to be able to continue to express his feelings and ideas he/she must be inventive and keep experimenting in order to find new ways of communication that best fit a certain era.

Finally, lets talk a bit about the future. Plans? Goals?

I am a person who always chases self-improvement and constantly sets new goals, so I always try to incorporate new techniques and materials into my works. For the future,  I look forward to new exhibitions and artistic projects as well as some new collaborations.

For the near future, around mid December I will be participating in a group exhibition at Mrs. Zina Athanasiadou gallery, which is something that I am very excited about.

Theano Giannezi, artwork in progress, Glo’Art Residency, Lanaken, Belgium, November 2017

 

Τext and Images by Constantine Dranganas

Images from the personal archive of the artist. All rights reserved.

To see more of Theano Giannezi check:

https://www.behance.net/theanogiannezi 

https://www.facebook.com/theanogi/ 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqrzGAWVAKTcxIdtRKpoENA 

https://www.instagram.com/theanogi/