"White plus white plus pale reeds: clearly these forms speak of nature and of the time when pods split open so that the seeds may venture into the life-cycle, at once miraculous and ordinary. At the same time, these are mysterious artworks, not quite of this world. The ancients made reeds into boats, and even navigated the Atlantic in them. They also wrapped bodies to preserve them for paradise. Lemos’s mummified boats link time and space in ways that poetry knows but rationality cannot touch."
- Norbert Lynton
Kalliopi Lemos is a Greek artist who lives and works in London. She studied painting and printmaking at the Byam Shaw School of Art in London. Kalliopi Lemos began to make boatlike forms in reed and plaster in the early years of this decade and first showed them in a solo exhibition, Rites of Passage, at the Art Gallery of Cyclades (on the island of Syros, Greece) in 2006. That same year, for the Aischylia Festival in Eleusis, Greece, she created her installation Crossing, using some of the actual derelict, abandoned boats that have carried illegal migrants from Turkey to Greece. In 2007, she continued this series at santralistanbul on the campus of Bilgi University in Istanbul by creating Round Voyage, an installation of two migrants’ boats suspended from a bridgelike steel span. The series will continue with an exhibition, called At Crossroads, in November 2009 at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Her work has been shown in group and solo exhibitions in Istanbul at BM SUMA Contemporary Art Centre (2008), in London at the Royal Academy of Arts, the European Academy of Fine Arts, The Hellenic Centre, ICA, Julian Machin Gallery, Redfern Gallery, and Angela Flowers Gallery. Her artist’s book with wood engravings of Odysseus Elytis’s Seven Nocturnal Septets is in the collections of the British Museum Library, the Victoria and Albert Museum Library, the Benaki Museum Library (Athens) and the Gennadius Library (Athens). An exhibition of some of her earliest sculptures was shown at DC Harris Gallery in Tucson in 1999.