What vision could see
Maria Trillidou’s painterly worlds in ‘Pink Mink’ hold carnivorous plants, chthonic beings and tentacular creatures. Her masterful technique renders unexpected materialities and textures – like the furry coating of pink mink flowers, or the almost translucent, ready-to-sting spikes of cacti.
Drawing on contemporary culture as a collective body fascinated with the making of fearsome things cute, and often revealing the dark underside of ‘the beautiful’, her compositions mix the careful application of line and shape with the wet and rupture-like application of colour.
The artist’s worlds hover between “storytelling and fact telling; it is the patterning of possible worlds and possible times, material-semiotic worlds, gone, here, and yet to come”¹. Within them, the dynamics of representation are simultaneously practiced and defied.
In her most recent works, different mouths appear on unexpected, hybrid bodies. A tetraptych suggestively titled Hellmouth, depicts the open mouth of a big mammal that is attached to tangled plants, becoming one with them. Replete with a large tongue and the size of its teeth’s surface, the opening reminds of an active yet deserted space.
In medieval iconography, the open mouths of enormous monsters represent the often elaborately decorated gates of hell: a spatialisation of expectation, the suspended moment of entry into the unknown. This unknown is understood as the devouring inside of an other, a space of meaningless decomposition often referred to as ‘the belly of the beast’. When imagining this ‘here’ that decomposes, the feeling conjured up is that of a monstrous sublime that we cannot fully comprehend. In Trillidou’s work, these mouths are more like desiring machines, ready to interact with something, producing unexpected combinations and new bodies.
In between drawing and painting, the works provide open grounds for exploring what our eyes could see if vision stepped beyond the recognition of humanistic concerns -including finitude- on nature. Drawing is after all a desiring process, a way to move through time and space, a tool with which to produce new ways of engaging with the reality of all things that remain unknown to us.
1 Donna J. Haraway, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene.
Unlike a naturalist who is observing in order to describe,
define and categorise,
I omit, modify and distort.
This leaves the unigender, plant-like organisms that occupy my works, undefined, ambiguous and formally unclassified.
Born 1968, Nicosia. Lives and works in Nicosia, Cyprus.
Through her practice, Maria Trillidou touches on contemporary posthuman concerns that review the current anthropocentric values and the philosophical consequences of concepts such as ‘human’ ‘human nature’ ‘immune system’ ‘identity’. Within this frame, she focuses on mutualism and coexistence among human and non-human lifeforms, considering the human organism as a part of an expansive network extending in and out of the body the understanding of which is constantly evolving
She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, USA and a Master’s diploma in experimental art practice from Basle School of Art and Design in Basel, Switzerland and a Master’s diploma in Psychodynamic counseling from Westbrook University, USA.
- Pink Mink, The O Gallery, Larnaca, Cyprus
- Mutual Affections, Nasty cat annex, Nicosia, Cyprus
- Under, Over and Otherworldly, curated by Evagoria Dapola, Nasty cat annex, Nicosia, Cyprus
- Current Terrains, Phytorio, Nicosia, Cyprus
- Communion, Argo gallery, Nicosia, Cyprus
- Terra Incognita, Diatopos Center of Contemporary Art, Nicosia, Cyprus
- Anamnesis, Diatopos Center of Contemporary Art, Nicosia, Cyprus
- Code Change, Diatopos Center of Contemporary Art, Nicosia, Cyprus
- Medusa, Gallery Lobby, Nicosia, Cyprus
- Metamorphosis, The Monagri Foundation – Center of Contemporary Art, Limassol, Cyprus
- Cocoons, Gloria Gallery, Nicosia, Cyprus
- Winter Group Exhibition, The O Gallery, Larnaca, Cyprus
- Summer Group Exhibition, The O Gallery, Larnaca, Cyprus
- Limitless Limits, Larnaca Biennale, Larnaca, Cyprus
- Interpreting Blue, Kypriaki gonia gallery, Larnaca, Cyprus
- The Sea Within, Limassol Municipal Arts Center, Curated by Catherine Louis Nikita, Limassol, Cyprus
- Art-Thessaloniki, Papatzikou art gallery, Thessaloniki, Greece
- Follow Me, Papatzikou art gallery, Veria, Greece
- Art-Athina, Papatzikou art gallery, Athens, Greece
- UNBOUND, curated by Maria Trillidou, The Collection Gallery, Nicosia, Cyprus
- Cyprus Contemporary Artists / Εν-Τύποις Publications, Nicosia, Cyprus
- Re-Turn, Aigaia School of Art, Nicosia, Cyprus
- Red, curated by Savvas Christodoulides, Argo Gallery, Nicosia, Cyprus
- Chartographies of the Unknown, 50Plin1 Gallery, Limassol, Cyprus
- Perfect F II Curated by Savas Christodoulides, Argo Gallery, Nicosia, Cyprus
- Art-Athena 2011 with Diatopos Center of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece
- Love and Hate, Diatopos Center of Contemporary Art, Nicosia, Cyprus
- Saorge in Situ, Saorge, France
- Perfect F, Curated by Savas Christodoulides, Argo Gallery, Nicosia, Cyprus
- Blind Date, Curated by Margarita Paraskeuaidou, Maria Eustathiou&Ilkem Tunar, Bicommunal Exhibition, Nicosia
- The Playmaker, Diatopos Center of Contemporary Art
- Artcard, Sharjah Art Museum, United Arab Emirates
- Unclaimed Luggage, Curated by Artrageous Group, Circulo de Bellas Artes, Madrid, Spain