Kalliopi Lemos is a Greek-born, London-based sculptor, painter and installation artist. She studied painting and printing at Byam Shaw School of Art, University of the Arts London, Central Saint Martins, where she also pursued post-graduate studies. She studied the art of Ikebana for 15 years. Throughout the past decade her paintings, sculpture, and installations have explored the narrative of existential journeys, displacement and the politics of forced migration. During this time, the artist has exhibited extensively in various international venues.
Lemos has a persistent interest in the dignity and fate of destitute and power-stricken multitudes, victims of immeasurable neo-capitalism and irresponsibility of political powers. This is correspondingly one of the most projected concerns of the UN Commission. Research outlines reasons and consequences for social and political crisis in patriarchal and male-controlled societies, and implementation by the UN Commission on the Status of Women since Mexico (1975), Copenhagen (1980), Nairobi (1985) and Beijing (1995) conferences. Critical areas of concern are as follows: Women and Poverty, Violence against Women, Women and Armed Conflict, Human Rights of Women, Women and the Media, Women and the Environment, The Girl-child were identified in the Beijing Platform for Action and still prevailing in its most severe forms.
In her recent work, Necklace of Time, Lemos collaborates with artist Nancy Atakan to enter an eternal, poetic world where they engage in a ritual-like performance. Wearing heavy golden necklaces adorned with colourful jewels referencing Ottoman designs and reminiscent of Byzantine armour, the artists engage in the task of removing the jewels and replacing them with small embroidered words chosen to reflect their lived experiences – birth, love, friendship and marriage.
The genesis of this collaboration came through a shared interest in female and familial stories in which women are often the ‘keepers’ of cherished memories and stories passed down through the generations. Shared memories are a precious inheritance, assuming acute importance during the transition from one significant life stage to another; from youth to maturity.
Kalliopi Lemos’s work decisively intends to open a visual sphere of knowledge, perception and awareness into this reality.