Sophia Xeros-Constantinides: ‘Journeys with her Paintbrush’

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Sophia Xeros-Constantinides’ art is a reflection of her many life experiences. Various influences have shaped her creative path, from her mother’s artistic pursuits to her professional background as a medical doctor and psychological therapist, as well as her extensive travels in Europe.

Sophia’s artistic journey was inspired by her mother, Maria Xeros Colbert, during the 1960s. Maria learned to paint at a Melbourne summer school, under the guidance of renowned artists Robert Grieve and Dawn Westbrook and later extended her skills to embroidery, reaching new heights at the Embroiderer’s Guild, Victoria. These familial influences laid the foundation for Sophia’s creative aspirations.

Painting of Figure 3 at GORDES

Sophia’s profession as a medical doctor and psychological therapist, particularly in the treatment of pregnant women and new mothers, reignited her interest in ‘visualizing’ her patients’ experiences. This unique perspective led Sophia to employ drawing, printmaking, and collage in her post-graduate art-making. Her objective was to create visual metaphors that encapsulated the complexity and often traumatic nature of women’s reproductive journeys as reported by her patients and others.

Sophia’s art therapy expertise is recognised through her publication titled, “Myself as a Tree: The enabling power of an Art Therapy intervention in clinical work with post-natal distressed women-mothers.” This work was featured in “Therapeutic Arts in Pregnancy, Birth, and New Parenthood,” edited by Susan Hogan in 2021.  Several noteworthy solo exhibitions, including “Bitter-Sweet Embrace,” “More Earthly Delights,” “Earthly Delights,” “Bedlam,” “Gestate,” and “Concoct”, showcased the evolution of her style and thematic explorations which challenge norms and stimulate conversations about identity and the human experience.

Red Canna Lily’ (oil on board)

It was during the process of writing her Fine Art thesis that Sophia decided to become a painter and began exploring other painters, teachers, and schools to learn the fundamentals of painting. In 2017, she attended a six-week Slade Summer School painting programme in London with three fellow Australian artists, receiving expert tuition from artists Andy Pankhurst and Ian Rowlands RA.

Recently, in June 2024, Sophia joined the Dulwich Art Group and School for two weeks of tutored painting in Provence, France.  Staying in a manor house with twelve other painters, the program included four hours of daily tuition from artist-tutors Suzon Lagarde and Clare Haward, focusing on “Figure in the Landscape” and “Landscape Painting.”  She found the experience of travelling and painting with others deeply inspiring and highly recommends travel painting. Some of these works can be found on Sophia’s Instagram @sophiaxerosartist. For further enquiries, email sophiaxerosc@gmail.com.

Magnolia with Pink Vase’ (oil on board)

Sophia Xeros-Constantinides is represented by Theo and Soula Mantalvanos, curators and owners of Queenscliff Gallery, Victoria, where Sophia recently exhibited in the group exhibit ‘FORM’- exploring the human body in paint and drawing. From June 6th to July 7th, Sophia will again exhibit in QG’s group exhibition ‘THE WAY I SEE IT’- a collection of still life paintings and prints.  For further details contact Queenscliff Gallery (03) 4202 0942 or visit https://qgallery.com.au/

Sophia is also one of 17 artists who will be represented in the upcoming Antipodean Palette Exhibition, an annual art event initiated by the Greek Australian Cultural League. Sophia will exhibit a series of floral paintings in oil, a subject dear to her heart, which as Sophia states, “nurtures my enquiring mind and soul. My Uncle Nick Xeros, a biological scientist, had marvelled at the glorious diversity, beauty and power of Nature.  In turn, I experience his wonder, engaging with the myriad of diverse floral forms that the changing seasons offer.”

The AP2024 exhibition will run from the 11th to 21st July and the official launch will be held on Saturday, July 13th at 2.30pm. Viewing times are Weekdays (except Monday), from 10am – 4pm and Weekends from 11am – 3pm. To coincide with the exhibition, the GACL will also present its annual Poetry Afternoon 2024. This free event will be held at the same venue on Saturday 20th July at 1.30pm, featuring 11 poets who will recite their poems in Greek and English. For further enquiries, contact the AP2024 Co-ordinator Frixos Ioannides E: antipodeanpalette@gmail.com

Sunflowers with Chrysanthemum & Patterned Cloth (oil on board)

Sophia Xeros-Constantinides is amongst many Greek Australian artists who are represented in the GAAD (Greek Australian Artist Directory). An initiative by the Greek Australian Cultural League (GACL), the GAAD celebrates Greek Australian visual and performing artists by showcasing their works and contributions to the Australian arts landscape.  By preserving and promoting the artistic legacy of Greek Australian artists, the directory ensures that their talents are duly acknowledged and cherished, cementing their place in Australia’s artistic narrative.

‘Aubergines & Cherry Tomatoes’ at GORDES (gouache on paper)

Interested artists can register their profiles by visiting www.gacl.com.au and clicking on the dedicated GAAD section.  For any inquiries related to the GAAD, individuals can either email GACL President Cathy Alexopoulos infogaclm@gmail.com or contact GAAD Co-ordinator Vasy Petros on 0412 242557

*This is a Greek Australian Cultural League Initiative supported by The Greek Herald.

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