Maria Chatzinikolaki (Greece/Australia)

Maria Chatzinikolaki writes exclusively for keramici:

I grew up in an artistic family with my dad in the advertising business since the early 70’s and my mom a piano teacher. Influenced by the many sides of art, I decided to choose visual arts in university with the dream to become an interior and graphic designer. After graduating I had the numerous opportunities to work for well-known international advertising agencies. But somehow designing in 2D was not leaving me entirely satisfied.

When my parents moved from the capital city to one of the islands of Greece,
I jumped to the opportunity to follow them as well as a less complicated life style. Being on an island that relied on tourism for only 5 months per year didn’t leave me with much choice when looking for a job. I found a job as a retail assistant in a shop that sold local ceramics. And when one of their production assistants got sick I was asked to help with production as well. Soon I replaced the hours in the shop with more hours in the studio and 2 years later I was decorating their main dinnerware range.

Upon my arrival in Australia in 2007, I decided to pursue ceramics further by taking part time classes at TAFE SA and by enrolling in all porcelain workshops run at the JamFactory. Two years later I found myself ready to apply for the 2-year associate-ship, which I completed successfully in 2011. Within the last three years I have been lucky to participate in 18 group exhibitions both here in Adelaide and interstate and my first solo show at the JamFactory, here in Adelaide.
After graduating as an associate and being able to see the bigger picture I am now renting a studio space at the JamFactory.

My arrival in Australia has subsequently lead to my observation of new environ-mental, cultural, ethical and religious aspects. Living in such a multicultural society has inspired my response to all these new influences as this period of adjustment
is constantly challenging my thoughts, imagination and skills.
When I work on a ceramic piece I try to create forgotten feelings or memories.
My basic goal is for people to be able to attach a part of themselves to my work
and turn them into personal objects.

As a former interior and graphic designer I was always interested in all forms of art but I believe that ceramic art is what gives a home its character.
As a decorator I am mostly interested in intricate designs and detailed patterns, inspired by nature, ancient civilizations and classical art movements.
For me decoration starts from a dot. A dot that forms into a line, straight or curved.
It is the connection of two points that start their formation in ones mind and evolve on the surface of the object. There are no coincidences or accidents, the decoration treatment is simply the interpretation of an idea onto an object and finally into something decorative or functional.

© Maria Chatzinikolaki

link to the artist website »