A talented young artist from Cyprus will mark the end of her time at Gray’s School of Art with a powerful display of her painting work, inspired by the cultural associations of past and present.
Nefeli Chrysanthou decided to pursue a creative path after finishing high school, and chose to study in Aberdeen in a bid to widen her artistic skills.
She enrolled on the Fine Art (Painting) course at Gray’s, where she credits the school and its staff for encouraging her to expand on her strengths and develop as an artist.
Nefeli said: “I went to university because I wanted to expand my artistic skill set whilst working in a stimulating environment which would also ultimately provide the necessary social skills, knowledge and opportunities to pursue a career as an artist.
“I also thought an inexperienced artist, such as myself, coming straight from high school, would benefit from the creative flexibility the course provided to make new discoveries in my work and in myself. For instance, eventually finding an area of focus I am passionate about was only made possible by insisting on exploring new themes and a trial and error routine.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed watching my work grow and develop throughout my time in Gray’s School of Art.
“From the beginning I have aspired to graduate as an improved version of myself and now as my degree is coming to an end, I certainly feel that my tutors have helped this goal come to fruition. I feel grateful to have been under the tutelage of such a committed staff and intend on carrying their lessons for the rest of my artistic practice.”
Nefeli’s work draws on many areas of inspiration, from Greek Mythology to Lithuanian folk tales, and she has used these in developing her work for the annual Gray’s Degree Show.
“I have always been intrigued by an abundance of subjects based on literature, philosophy, politics, cinema and drama all at once! So, I struggled to be selective time and time again. However, I inevitably would always revisit the stories I grew up with; veridical and fictional. Some derived from Greek mythology about men with god-like ethos, or gods driven by human emotions, others from Lithuanian folk tales personifying the rain and the sun.
“I have come to appreciate the importance of these stories as the tools for building a basic understanding of the world. The purpose of my degree show work is therefore to convey a narrative and to draw cultural associations between the past and the present.”
Nefeli, who has been nominated for a number of awards during her time at Gray’s, including the BGF-EY and Royal Society of Portrait Painters exhibition, is now looking forward to continuing her practice as an aspiring artist.
“After graduation I am interested in applying for a residency and/or a drawing programme which also encompasses digital aspects and ultimately pursuing a career as a full-time artist both as a painter and an illustrator.”
You can see Nefeli’s Degree Show work at Gray’s School of Art from June 15 – 22.