NEW YORK – Art has a magical way of transforming the world we see all around us and changing our perspective. The art exhibition, What is to Come, featuring the work of Greek artist Eirini Linardaki and the participants in the workshop she led at the Lower Eastside Girls Club offers a fantastic glimpse into the transformative power of art. Taking images of explosions, deconstructing them, and then reassembling them in the unique, interactive installation in the gallery at 136 Avenue C in Manhattan, Linardaki and the members of the Girls Club truly impressed all those who attended the opening on February 15.
The Girls Club Artist-in-Residence Linardaki spoke to The National Herald at the exhibition opening and explained that the images of the explosion of the Challenger which have inspired her work in the past were used in the installation, the distinct shapes cut out from the magnetic material offering the opportunity to create an interactive piece with the girls in the workshop. The thought-provoking artwork from the tragic image is transformed into an inspiring springboard for the imagination as the girls arrived for the exhibition opening in groups and could move the magnetic shapes to continue the creative process.
Many present noted that art on display in museums is usually of the “do not touch” variety, but were delighted to find that the installation shapes could be moved and rearranged as much as they liked. The shapes were also painted to glow in the dark as well, offering another visual dimension to the piece.
Linardaki told TNH that she wished the workshop could have lasted longer in order to continue working and creating art with the bright young artists at the Girls Club.
The exhibition is on view for a month, Linardaki told TNH, but may be extended another month as well.
Among the many projects coming up for Linardaki is a public works commission in Mamaroneck, Westchester County, NY. She told TNH that the work will be based on silhouettes like her public installation in Red Hook, Brooklyn, but since it is for the facade of a school, it will include silhouettes based on the activities the students participate in.
Also upcoming for Linardaki, exhibitions in Long Island City and Manhattan as well as at the University of Sheffield in the U.K. where she has been asked to work with students on another project.
As noted in her biography, Linardaki was born in Athens and studied art in France, where she lived for two decades. She now lives and works between Heraklion, Paris, and New York. Her work has been exhibited at the Boijmans Museum, Rotterdam; Onassis Cultural Center, Athens; Salon de Montrouge, Paris; Fri-Art Kunsthalle, Fribourg; Natural History Museum, Geneva; Macedonian Contemporary Art Museum; Hamburg Kunsthaus, and Rutgers University, among others.
She has created several public art projects in New York, Baltimore, and Newark. Her public installations are currently on view in Jackson Heights (Queens) and Red Hook (Brooklyn). Her art walks hand in hand with social change. Through her research, practice and overall journey as an artist, the complexity and persistent presence of the issues she confronts within different cities and communities become part of her artworks, and are expressed through found materials and are born of the aspirations of the participants.
Eirini Linardaki- What is to Come is on display at 136 Avenue C in Manhattan. Photo by Eleni Sakellis