Sculptor and digital artist
Artist of the Month June 2023
Elli Antoniou is a multi-media artist exploring how screens impact time, space, and transcendence.
Elli Antoniou is a multi-media emerging artist based in London and Athens, Greece, who explores our relationship with screens. “Screens propose the paradox of a live 3D space within a flat surface,” Elli argues, “and in doing so they expose our capacity to comprehend a reality beyond a singular understanding of space.”
After studying at Fine Art Goldsmiths until 2017 and going on to do an MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art, Elli has exhibited work in France, Greece, Switzerland and the UK. She makes both digital work including video games involving 3D animation, and wall-based metal sculptures. Elli’s practice investigates how current technology impacts our perception of reality. “I am fascinated by our relation to space and time within the framework of our increasingly screen-based experience of life,” Elli explains, who during lockdown experienced – as so many of us – that the only way to ‘be’ with relatives was on a Zoom call. As an artist constantly navigating between two countries and cultures, screens and simulations have a particular resonance for Elli.
For her most recent body of work created during a residency at Palazzo Monti, Elli used various abrasive pads and grinding tools to ‘draw’ onto rectangular stainless steel and brass sheets. Over the course of the residency, Elli became more and more interested in polishing the metal sheets in an elaborate and carefully rehearsed way. The various sizes of grinders she uses are not easy to control: “I consider the process of making the metal drawings as performative,” Elli says, “the machine already has a lot of acceleration and velocity so you have to keep re-directing its circular movements and control the way it glides on the metallic surface.” Inspired by Baroque painters’ illusionistic depiction of space and her fascination with the transcendent quality of both pictorial and digital screens, Elli’s metal works convey animated theatricality, elegance, whimsy and tumult.
Ultimately, Elli is interested in negotiating how screens can warp our experience of space and time. She does so by reflecting on visual modes that persuade viewers to imagine a world beyond the tangible, from Baroque frescoes to current 3D digital aesthetics. The suggestive strokes and swirls have an introspective effect on the viewer, who is reminded of cloud formations or balletic gestures. Elli is currently completing a three month studio programme at Roman Road Studios in East London. “I am currently taking time to focus on developing further the technique I employ for my metal drawings,” Elli explains. “It is exciting to be pushing the limits of this process.”
Sense Of Relief