Maria Christoforatou graduated earlier this year from CCW with an MPhil, we caught up with her to talk about her experience at UAL and what she has been doing since.
Why did you choose to study your PhD at CCW? Was it a good experience?
I chose to study at CCW because I was confident in the high academic standards and knowledgeable and experienced tutors. It was challenging and enriching experience throughout.
What was the transition from PhD researcher to independent practitioner like?
Since finishing my PhD/MPhil course, less than a year ago, I had 3 solo exhibitions and several group shows. I feel well equipped to explore and present my ideas and my work. I am ready to dedicate myself to further developing and expand my artistic vision.
How has the PhD/MPhil influenced your work and career?
It gave me a deeper understanding of both the theoretical and practical aspects of art. Also the extensive study and research opened doors to better appropriating the various aspects of my practice. Most of all it gave me confidence in expressing my ideas and putting them into work.
Tell us about the work you are including in this solo exhibition; is it different from your PhD/MPhil work?
I am expanding the research that I have undertaken and developing new vision and possibilities for my art work.
Maria Christoforatou: Constructing Spaces
28 November – 30 November 2014
The Chocolate Studios, Flat 21, Shepherdess Place 7, London N1 7LJ
The exhibition Constructing Spaces presents new works by London based artist Maria Christoforatou. Christoforatou works across a variety of medium including drawings on paper, installations, sculpture, oil paintings and most recently collage.
Her practice examines the emotional effects of displacement in relation to notions of home as a place of refuge and departure, as well as the ways in which art can expose the effects of forced displacement, making observable such feelings as fear,
pain and loss. It is clear that her own personal experiences from the past, which has seen her lose two homes in fire has had a huge impact on her artistic practice.
Through her research Christoforatou examines critically the relationship between the romanticised notion of home, as a place of safety, security, comfort and belonging, and the emotional and material impact of its loss.
To express this concept, the artist deconstructs architectural and physical elements of a house, that are normally seen but overlooked, such as pipes or scaffoldings, to recreate a variety of pieces. By doing this Christoforatou emphasises that the
concept of a home can be very unstable, precarious and vulnerable reflecting the many changes and insecurities that humans have to face today.
The limited use of colour, the absence of people, the use of subtle lines, juxtaposed with the reproductions of Tudor and Victorian houses, as well as gable houses, are what characterise and distinguish Christoforatou’s work.
Maria Christoforatou received her BA (Hons.) in Fine Art from the Athens School of Fine Arts (ASFA) in Greece and her MA in Fine Art from Wimbledon College of Arts, University of the Arts London. Recently she graduated from CCW Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London with an MPhil in Fine Art Practice-based research. As part of her research she has been investigating narratives of home and displacement in contemporary art practice.
She recently had a solo exhibition called ‘Dislocated’ at The Gallery @Idea Store Whitechapel, London, UK (2014) and another called, ‘Un-build’, at the Galeria-Atelier Metamorfose, Porto, Portugal (2013). During her career she has taken part in shows in Greece, UK, Italy, Canada, Germany, The Netherlands and USA, and awarded academic scholarships for her work in Greece (Academy of Athens, IKY). She has also been involved in organizing numbers of workshops in London for Tate Galleries, Barbican, Parasol Unit and The National Gallery as well as in Greece and Italy.
Further information about the artist: