Interview to Sissy Sigioultzi – Rooka, Philologist, Writer, member of the Union of Journalists Periodical & Electronic Press NWE, Radio Producer at radio1d.gr and President of the”Greek Cyprus Cultural Association”
A paragraph about myself
I am a visual artist based in East London. My work often deals with the human figure within an aquatic geometry of colours. Thematically, I have been dealing with imaginary islands and contemporary mysticism through icons and hagiography. The human figures are based on myself and I keep them uncoloured so that they appear as alien and unintegrated as possible in the aquatic environment. This is both an ecological metaphor and a way of expressing the anthropocenic peculiarity of our planetary emplacement.
I live in London, but I am originally from Greece. I grew up around water, so blue has been the main colour in my life. The water element (and its various complicated colours) was the protagonist in my earlier work. The naked humanoid figures featured throughout my work are also inspired by the Ancient Greek statutes, which were both secular and sacred.
My practice involves colour pencils and crayons on textured paper. I exclusively use the Polychromos artists’ colour pencils from Faber-Castell as I love the variety and the quality of their colours.
My Technique and Style
I love structure both in my life and in my art practice and the colour pencils help me achieve the desired structure in my drawings. They also challenge me a lot, as it is difficult to produce unique colours (compared to acrylics or oil based paints). But I still manage to produce great depth in the colours I use. For example, my water has many varieties of blues and greens. I use different shades of these colour pencils, then I cover everything with black, blue and white pastels and finally I bring the original colours to the surface by using an eraser, my fingers and the same colour pencils. It’s a self-taught technique.
How do you define the end, the point of completion for each one of your artworks?
It comes naturally. I often envision a different completion point to my artwork, but most of the times I feel that the artwork decides itself when it is the right time to stop. But there are a few difficult times when I have to decide myself, so I follow the principle that less is more. So I try to stop before I end up adding more and more details on my artwork and then it loses its envisioned magic.
How important is naming your artworks? How do you choose a name?
I feel that the work is always more important than the title. There are many artists who chose to call their art pieces “untitled 1”, “untitled 2” and so forth. I choose each title based on the theme of the series. I usually do 5 to 6 pieces per series. For example, my latest project was “The Sofa”, which was an exploration of the human body, both static and in movement. The series had 5 pieces, so I named them “The Sofa” and numbered them from 1 to 5.
Why did you choose art in your life?
I am not a full-time artist at the moment. I have a 9am-5pm job, which can be quite bureaucratic. So my art helps me express myself artistically and also fulfil my need for creativity. Since I use myself as the main inspiration behind the human figures, my this artistic exploration helps me accept my body and love myself more.