Eleni Odysseos

Alice


“Generous donations made by the queen of Cyprus, Alice of Champagne, the wife of King Hugh I (r. 1205–18), who is referred to as the founder of their sisterhood.”
 

Trichobatrachus Robustus, Natural History Museum in London, 2019.


“The female community was also favored by Pope Gregory IX (r. 1227–41), who, through three papal bulls, encouraged local people to support the newly founded community.”

Detail of mural, Church of Panagia (The Virgin), Moutoullas, Cyprus, 1280.

“[...] Gregory IX records that the nuns owned a church dedicated to Saint Mary of Egypt in Paphos, which included a cistern and a garden, among others.”
 

Tarot reading session at Eleni Odysseos’ studio in London, 2020.


“Would it be farfetched to assume that the sisterhood sought a local painter whom they might have met in the Holy Land, or whose ventures they had heard about?”

Detail from William Blake’s The Simoniac Pope, 1824-7, Tate Britain, London, 2019.


“the Marian cult was furnished with icons of the Virgin that must have been brought from Palestine or Cyprus.”

A witch at her cauldron surrounded by monsters, etching by Jan van de Velde II, 1626, image source: https://wellcomelibrary.org/item/b11955302#?c=0&m=0&s=0&cv=0 


Detail from Lisa Brice’s Untitled, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, 2019


“Both images of Mary feature a sensual face with big, expressive, almond-shaped eyes and fleshy lips.”

 

Selfie, 2018

 

“[...] the slender nose, the shape of the nostrils, the gaze, and even the drawing of the beard, in the middle of which a roundel is formed, are matching; the rendering of the ears is equally comparable.”

Eleni Odysseos’ garden, London, 2020.

 

“The Cypriot icon, however, is of finer quality and more attentive to detail.”

Detail of mural, Church of Panagia (The Virgin), Moutoullas, Cyprus, 1280.

 

Incredible Frogs (2015),  Benjamin Hewett, UK
https://youtu.be/jwTUcDzbMsg?t=1115

All quotes are from Anthi Andronikou (2017) “Southern Italy, Cyprus, and the Holy Land: A Tale of Parallel Aesthetics?”, The Art Bulletin, 99:3, 6-29


All images are from the artist's personal archive unless stated otherwise.

Eleni Odysseos lives and works between London and Cyprus.

Her paintings explore such concepts as isolation, abjection, desire, hierarchical systems of discipline and control, and processes of empowerment within a feminist framework. An underlying friction exists between the various elements that make up her paintings, as the figures descent into futile battles of power, violence and companionship. Her audio pieces investigate mysticism and storytelling practices through narrations of absurdist, cautionary tales.

eleniodysseos.net

@eleniodysseos

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