55 Perikleous Av
Complexions of the atmosphere
Complexions of the atmosphere presents a series of painted sculptural reliefs made from recycled polystyrene which show everyday stuff and modern calamity juxtaposed as Oxymora of a pseudo classical aesthetic, the grim and the barren beautified. Seemingly arbitrary views, in an unheroic contrast to ancient reliefs of the Parthenon are woven together by a mesh of subconscious thought; an empty underground office the antithesis of business acumen, a street barbecue who’s ominous sentiment suggests that life is definitely no-picnic, a dank drainage ditch on the cusp of a wealthy suburb once a fine river known by ancient poets for the washing of the feet, now concreted over, a lonely fire-fighter hurls a small bucket of water at the fire gorging the forest to become prime real-estate, people, both young and old, in a scene reminiscent of the middle-ages huddle around after-market garbage bins in the hope of finding the day’s meal.
Phrases abounding with assurance from new language developments in the world of banking and finance jar uncomfortably with the images. A cutting-edge nomenclature which, as it trickles down, is becoming part of our everyday speech. In the commonplace and the banal we find our fading view of what we have lost in the moral mayhem of today.
The notion of relief sculpture implies a figurative, historical, memorial expectation by default. Relief sculptures populate the public realm representing, by nature of their omnipresence, the undecorated-decorative component of neo classicism’s colonisation of our cultural heritage. complexions of the atmosphere explores a latter-day use of this medium and in looking-back attempts to view the present from outside the present. Undesirable materials with undesirable themes present an irreverent counterpoint to a consumer driven aesthetic with the undisguised cells of polystyrene symbolising its characterisation as a frivolous instantaneous substance intended for economy use, a meta-modern art-material, the antithesis of quality.
Toby raised the money for the catalogue by visiting every single shop in the local area with the proposal that he had given to the Town Hall and was so surprised and happy when people actually agreed to participate. It was incredible, people were so nice, and enthusiastic; a delicatessen will lay a table of cheeses and olives, the wine maker will bring wine, the optician, the bookshop, and a bistro gave money for the catalogue, the souvlakirestaurant paid for the posters the bakery will bring cheese and spinach pies and a big department store said they will cover the rest. All of this with the generous support of some close friends and he was able to cover the catalogue and lighting costs. “I can’t believe it and I am so grateful for the positivity and the interest people have shown. I can’t help but feel that the exhibition will be very much as a consequence of this spirit.”
‘complexions of the atmosphere’ (Feb 1st – Feb 9th ) Municipal Town hall Papagou-Holargos, 55 Perikleous Av, 15562 Holargos, hours 11:00-13:00 and 18:00-21:00 Mon to Sunday. Exhibition opening Feb 1st 7pm to 10:30pm
Toby Short was born in Wolverhampton, England and grew up in London. Since 1994 he has been living in Athens and more specifically in Holargos for the last 10 years.
Toby Short is a sculptor from the UK and he lives in Greece for the last 24 years. He makes painted wall-hanging relief sculptures.
He began his studies in Fine Arts at St.Martin’s School of Art and graduated with BA Fine Art Sculpture (Hons) from the Camberwell School of Art in 1989. During the first period of his professional career, he worked as a sculptor for the British film industry, theatre and television.
Toby has participated, as co-founder of the Guerrilla Optimists in ‘No Country for Young Men: Contemporary Greek Art in Times of Crisis’ at Bozar Palais des beaux-arts Brussels 2014 and in the National Museum of Contemporary Art Athens ‘Expanded Ecologies during a time of Emergency’ 2009, in 2007 he co-organised the exhibition ‘Where is the Art?’ in the parallel program ‘ReMapKm’ to the Athens Biennial 1, contributing his own work. He was commissioned to create interactive kinetic light installation ‘earthnet’ at the Magna Science Adventure centre in Rotherham, Sheffield (2001). His first solo show was at Agathi gallery, Athens in 2002.
At the heart of his interests are social sculpting programs. At the same time, he has dealt with interactive art, three-dimensional installations and design of furniture and lighting. The range of materials he uses and shapes his structures from are raw materials such as clay, wood, wire, styrofoam, cloth. Its compositions, however, often consist of abandoned objects and recycled materials.
Opening: 01/02/2019 at 19:00
Duration: 01/02/2019 – 09/02/2019
11:00-13:00 and 18:00-21:00 Mon to Sunday.