Rania Schoretsaniti Greek, b. 1971

Artist’s Statement


My work explores the idea of gestural expression of sentiments and especially of the ones during the act of supplication. The initiative of my artwork (paintings, reliefs, videos) derives from the need to comment on the recent images of refugees in the Mediterranean, begging for salvation. The artworks connect these incidents to the long history of human suffering; the visual expressions of these sentiments have incorporated references to the ancient hand expressions of Byzantine art, the pictorial movements of abstract expressionism and the monumentality of minimalism. All these approaches are incorporated within the framework of a crucial contemporary (and eternal) problem: the need to survive from the disasters of war.


The basic elements that I use, in order to create my artistic pictures, are the hands, the black color and two ways of visual narration (friezes and relief). I seek to introduce into the archaic representation of the hand a modern concept and aspect. Hands are creating gestures in space. The color black is, within the tradition of Abstract Expressionism, connected to the frozen momentum of the brushstroke (the trace of the movement of a hand holding a brush) on the canvas surface. Black color has two qualities: it is simultaneously the symbol of mourning for what has been lost and also the starting point of the energy needed to move beyond the given circumstances. The moving images in video recreate the impression of sea and how the flow of waves functions as a barrier. These two dimensions of gesturally (expression of emotions and pictorial practice) are explored in my artwork both in images placed in the two-dimensional format in friezes and on relief pictorial structures.


The frieze (horizontal or vertical) initiate a sense of storytelling, of a continuous narration without an end. The image of the ladder, that is incorporated to these friezes, is further enhancing the narrative process by becoming the symbol of connecting the earthly to the celestial. The works that are been realized through the relief form of art connect my work to a historic and universal art form, that of the relief. Relief was allowing the narration of incidents and the creation of a actual three dimensional space. Relief is providing in my work the option to develop my forms in a large scale and create narratives, both literal and pictorial. The movement of a gesture has initiated the form for a prayer of supplication and how can it be interpreted in an abstract art form.


Space, time, narration, verticality, horizontality, friezes, relief, black are all elements that contribute in narration. A narration that intends to commemorate and record in my work human passion and suffering; and possibly the way to go beyond it….