New Exhibition : Echoes by Despo Sophocleous
To see her new pieces: click on Despo Sophocleous
On November 10, with an opening night starting at 5pm, Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h will introduce the newest exhibition of Canadian artist Despo Sophocleous : « Echoes ». On view until December 1.
« The body does not bear traces of its memory, yet it somehow remains inscribed within ». A paradox that Despo Sophocleous has been continuously exploring in her work, researching the memory of places and time and striving to convey these ideas in her production. She has recently produced a series of pendants made of wood and cotton strings, thought in such a way that they have to be adjusted to the body,becoming alive by being worn and producing sounds and movement. Combined with the architectural construction of the pieces, the noise emitted becomes an « echo », a trace and memory of a specific place and time.
Favoring resilient wood such as walnut, cherry and ash, Sophocleous builds individual yet complex elements, sometimes empty, sometimes full. Each piece is carefully designed before being bound together with invisible joints, creating a mobile wooden necklace on which she voluntarily leaves hand-written annotations to remind us of the marks we leave behind us.
Acting as a mapmaker, she highlights specific places that we are led to imagine and that we believe we imagine. What she is showing us is that our memories, sometimes true and accurate, can also be easily distorted. As we encounter places, those places imprint on our memory but also transform and sometimes fade away. Despo’s pendants offer us a representation that we would like to held for true and real, yet they are simply « echoes » and nothing more.
Born in 1977 in Nova Scotia, Sophocleous studied Philosophy and Anthropology in the University College of Cape Breton, Sydney, Nova Scotia. Following her call on jewellery Design, she undertook a BFA in Jewellery and Metalsmithing at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University in Halifax in 2004. She then benefitted from an exchange program at the Pforzheim University Faculty of Design in 2006. From 2008 to 2015, she remained in Germany to continue her researches and experiments at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts with Otto Künzli as a mentor and teacher.
Trough the years, Despo’s works has been rewarded with many awards including the prestigious Herbert Hofmann Award in Munich in 2012 during Schmuck, the most important international event in the field of contemporary jewellery. She has been selected to participate again as part of the 2018 edition. A few years back, in 2008, the quality of her technique was highlighted by the Lieutenant Governor’s Award, Nova Scotia Talent Trust which is given to promising young artists. Despo Sophocleous is also the recipient of a considerable number of scholarships, including the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst Graduate Scholarship.
Her creations have been showcased in numerous public and private institutions. Thus she has taken part in more than forty solo and group exhibitions in Europe, Asia and North America. Munich’s Museum of Modern Art, Pinakothek der Moderne as well as the CODA Museum in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, have acquired several of her pieces.
In 2014 she took part in the exhibition « Remarkable Contemporary Jewellery » presented at Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’s Design Lab, an exhibition curated by Diane Charbonneau, from the Museum’s Decorative Arts and Noel Guyomarc’h. In 2015, the Marzee Gallery in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, hosts her first solo exhibition. In 2016, art historian and curator Ellen Maurer-Zilioli invited Despo with 35 other artists to «Private Confessions », an exhibition gathering sketches, drawings and installations. After being held at the CODA Museum, the second edition took place in 2017 at the Villa Stuck Museum in Munich.
Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h is particularly proud and pleased to exclusively display Despo’s new series of pieces before they depart for Seoul for another exhibition, alongside the work of a dozen other Canadian artists.