I was once told by S.M Kastanakis and now I see it clearly through the eyes of art. Through this phrase, always from that point on, works of art bring to mind something of the sea. It’s the journey of creation where the artist turns the bow of the ship of his soul to unseen horizons, collecting, through the endless sea, the elements that will compose his creation. K And in this journey, the surrounding matter transforms, is remoulded and it forms new perspectives.
Art tames Matter with kindness, steers it towards something higher, takes the raging waves and the hard rocks and turns them to land, a golden sandy beach with the beauty and measure of harmony that is defined by the imagination and soul of the artist.
In Vassilikis Sarris’s art, Matter is the prime component. Imagination is the unifying and poetic Force. Primary materials that exist in our surroundings, inert and unprocessed in their original form, are restructured by the creator in various ways, and are given life with a powerful expression, giving meaning to their depictions.
Greece is a point of constant concern for Vasiliki. She observes the daily life of which she is a part and feels the character of every place, recognising their traditions, their importance and their ancient origin, all the while narrating humanity’s struggle of today and drawing parallels between this and the adventures and myths of antiquity. Through her art, she mkanages to deliver the Greek element, transferring the materials of the Greek land she collects from every corner of the country, following and stepping on the footsteps of her ancestors. Her canvas is a microcosm, where ochre, quartz, fool’s gold, sand, blue vitriol, iron and brass filings and glass in all its forms are reincarnated as Nymphs, Eagles, Victories, Gardens of Hesperides, Globes, Geographical Coordinates and create a dance of textures, colours and volumes recreating lively representations that root themselves deeply in time with their natural elements.
Sarri revitalizes and excites all senses of the human existence in a way worthy of note. When one observes her art, they are transported into the natural space of the forms they represent, feeling the air passing through the Hair of a Caryatid or even Europe herself. They can smell the Tree Barks and the Fruit of the Hesperides. They can feel the shaking of the Bull’s Hooves and the rushing water flowing in the Globes. They participate in a delicate communication that captures the viewer and creates an experiential experience with the art work.
I would say that Vasiliki’s work probably meets Elytis’ thinking, who, talking about Greece, used to say that “If you take it apart, you will be left with an olive tree, a vineyard and a boat, which means that with this you can rebuild it”. There are some indestructible structural elements that are interwoven with this place that characterize it and if necessary, can re-create from its roots. It is the smell of flowers in the vineyards in the spring, the dry salt on the stones of the sea and the sun-roasted soil. All these constitute the material character of Greece and, through the art of Vassiliki Sarri, are elevated to a complete and self-existent presence.
Art Historian – Museologist