Whenever my hands itch, I want to work. When an idea is buzzing in my head, then I must. It is time.
The bodies that are coming out in my work now are more abstract and their surface is uneven, dug up. I have an idea of what I want to do, an idea of the structure. It’s like when you watch an autistic child repeat a movement in the same way. It’s very freeing. I don’t know exactly where I’m going, just want to keep pushing my work further to keep discovering, The work will let me know what will happen and where I should go next. New ways of approaching subjects, of using materials, finding new forms, establishing new relationships. It’s satisfying when I recognize something new to me.”
INTERVIEW WITH FIGURATIVE PAINTER, FOTINI HAMIDIELI
Veria, Imathia, Greece ~
Deanna Phoenix Selene: Do you find yourself painting more when you are full of joyful energy? Or sorrow? Or needing to work something out?
Fotini Hamidieli: All cases. But sentiments have to be worked out and not bothersome so I can concentrate.
Deanna Phoenix Selene: How do you work them out?
Fotini Hamidieli: When something is finished and I ‘know’ it, I can let it go. Because it is inside me.
Deanna Phoenix Selene: That is beautiful. In many of your paintings, you include what you’ve referred to as, “me, and maybe another me.” Your doppleganger?
Fotini Hamidieli: We All have them, don’t we?
Deanna Phoenix Selene: Mmmm. Ever regret selling any of your pieces?
Fotini Hamidieli: Yes, one. A small portrait of my son. I have two sons. [After selling that painting,] the boys did not allow me to sell any more of their portraits, even when the work was in a show. This painting is of my youngest, Stelios. I loved to work from my kids. I have few works of them though.
Deanna Phoenix Selene: Please tell me the story behind I Want to Go Home?
Fotini Hamidieli: At some point in her illness, my mother used to leave her house and try to get back to her paternal home; but she could not find it and wandered around…It had been demolished.
Deanna Phoenix Selene: Please tell me about Watching Her Fall.
Fotini Hamidieli: The little figure in the middle represents someone close to me in trouble. We cannot save others; we can only be there for them.
Deanna Phoenix Selene: Your paintings touch me deeply. You speak to such a universal truth of being human. Of what it is to be at once connected with your own emotions, and also connected with others. That is the goal of the artist, yes? To connect in both directions to something deep and profound? Something both unique to you and yet at the same time, universal.
Fotini Hamidieli: Yes. Something that starts with me but connects to other people. You know how many times women I do not know say, “You have painted me“?
Deanna Phoenix Selene: Do you feel naked after you are finished? Or excited to share?
Fotini Hamidieli: I feel naked when I talk about it, like now.
Deanna Phoenix Selene: You would rather have your work speak for itself?
Fotini Hamidieli: I don’t want to think about it too much, but rather allow my unconscious to do the work. You ask probing questions. [But] if deep down we did not like it a bit we would find a way to avoid it. In answering, we have to look at ourselves a little harder.
Deanna Phoenix Selene: Yes. And isn’t that why we all create?
Fotini Hamidieli: Yes, but we also like to have our work presented, and most people cannot relate to the art part of the work. So they first approach it through sentiment and what they can understand more easily. So keep on asking.
Deanna Phoenix Selene: Why is that, do you think? Aren’t we all born with a visual and emotional language and awareness? Color, shape, dark & light…Don’t we all start from there?
Fotini Hamidieli: Yes at first we have it, and then gradually forget it.
Deanna Phoenix Selene: Do you receive a different reaction from children than from adults?
Fotini Hamidieli: Children can understand easily.
Deanna Phoenix Selene: How do they respond? Are some of the images too strong for them?
Fotini Hamidieli: Some have said it is sad. Very young children are open to everything and they are curious. Kids around thirteen to fifteen are more skeptical and so it is difficult for them to accept unless you win them over.
Deanna Phoenix Selene: How does it feel when you revisit an old painting? Can it get to be too emotional?
Fotini Hamidieli: Not really.
Deanna Phoenix Selene: Are you able to have your work up on your wall at home?
Fotini Hamidieli: Yes, it is everywhere!
Visit Fotini’s profile page on Saatchi Online.