Standing watching the waves of the sea as they move backwards and forwards, never stopping, representing different things to different people: freedom – an opportunity to cross the sea and find new opportunities in new countries – or terror, a feeling of trapped, a fear of the unknown and the dangers of crossing a sea in which boats can capsize and ships sink.
Everything in life is a balance; a continual search for freedom, peace and a better life in an increasingly stressful, controlled world where, in many places, people feel such a strong and urgent need to escape that they take the chance of leaving everything behind and crossing those seas, perhaps losing their lives in the process.
Greek artist Kalliopi Lemos explores the theme of balance and the search for a better life in the 21st century in her exhibition “In Balance” at Gazelli Art House in London. Stainless steel seed sculptures represent tensions in society and stand poised to be moved and changed to see if their balance can be adjusted or whether they will just return to the same positions that they are in now, while other works also reference the aspirations to correct imbalances in society and the destructive results of forced immigration.
An iron sphere reoccurs throughout. While it could reference a celestial globe, here it is reminiscent of something from a medieval prison. The sphere itself looks harmless when displayed as a sculpture but it becomes more sinister when seen behind individuals trapped in “Boxed Worlds” made from reclaimed wood from the roof of an old house in Georgia and in the video “At the Centre of the World” where a woman, with no obvious means of escape, struggles to find and accept her own place in the world, trapped within this confining cage. Is this what life in the 21st century is all about?