I am an active member of the Fairbank Calligraphy Society of Victoria, BC, Canada, and of the Society of Scribes and Illuminators and CLAS in the UK. I was taught Italic handwriting at the age of 14 and a teacher in the Johnston tradition introduced me to calligraphy at high school. My family in Greece, strongly rooted in the arts, encouraged the study of the Byzantine and Classical writing traditions and art for inspiration. I studied Art History in Greece and in Victoria, BC., so my interest in the history of the calligraphic tradition is strong. Although much of my work is in English, I am keen to connect to my Greek heritage and create work that explores and bridges the richness of “cultural identity”.
Since turning my attention again to calligraphy in 2005, I have received bursaries to study with calligraphers such as Yves Leterme, Sue Hufton, Martin Jackson and Peter Thornton, published articles about the history of letters for journals, contributed to books, have had work published in Letter Arts Review and Weavings, and have taught and lectured in North America. I am currently working on a large, calligraphic and illustrative project documenting the history of Greece and its contribution to Western civilization and am also making efforts to revitalize the severely interrupted calligraphic tradition of Greece.
Having said that, the International Exhibition of Calligraphy project may well be considered one of the greatest boons to global calligraphy by it is endeavoring to bring forward the work of calligraphers from around the world, despite religious beliefs or political convictions. This in itself is a beautiful idea, that calligraphy, the art we all hold dear — can create a bridge for our differences and a platform for us to share our uniqueness.
To define beauty is at once simple and problematic; it is to follow the footsteps of many of a philosopher throughout time! Since my education in calligraphy was founded on the calligraphy revival stimulated by the Arts and Crafts movement, the words of one of its greatest exponents, William Morris, resonate for me:
Beauty, which is what is meant by art, using the word in its widest sense, is, I contend, no mere accident to human life which people can take or leave as they choose, but a positive necessity to life if we are to live as nature meant us to; that is unless we are content to be less than men.
For me calligraphy is not just a pastime, nor is it a frivolous activity – it is what Morris expresses – a “necessity”. It is a way of life that allows me to exercise creativity – the human touch — and to build skill; it allows me to express what I hold dear and what engages me in the world. It also gives me great satisfaction to do work for others that strikes a chord in them.
Song of Solomon
Saunders Waterford paper, Japanese ink stick, gouache, 23.75 carat gold, Brause and speedball nibs, 21х30 cm, 2010
Saunders Waterford paper, gouache, ground pigments, raised 22 carat gold, Brause nib and sable brush, 32x22.5 cm, 2010
St. Augustine Prayer
Fabriano Artistico paper, Japanese blue inkstick, gouache, raised 22 carat gold, Brause nibs, 21x28 cm, 2010
Parmenides “On Thought”
Japanese Sumi ink (ground from a stick not liquid); a Speedball 'B' nib; 22 carat gold, Arches Cold Press paper, 36х51 cm, 2008