Sophia was born in Cyprus with a Bulgarian mother and a Cypriot father. She spent her childhood between the two countries. This made her skeptical about any kind of patriotism or nationalism, since she personally could not fully relate to one identity and I could clearly see similarities where others were seeing a distinctive ethnic character.
Sophia completed her studies in the National Academy of Fine Arts in Sofia Bulgaria (MFA) and later on carried out a PhD in Art History and Visual Arts, conducting a comparative study on the interwar painting of Bulgaria and Greece, in search of their national identities. The exploration of identity (ethnical, sexual, political, etc), the diverse viewpoints, the cultural differences and similarities became vital for Sophia in her adult life and are present in both her artworks andher dissertation. “This created an urge in me to travel and discover how different people are living in different places”, she notes. “How gender, society, geography, change us and form us as persons”.
In her atest work she beaome increasingly interested in the existence of delusive attitudes towards feelings, situations, and experiences. The frailty of human perception and knowledge - which endures despite all training, was examined in her latest solo exhibitions through investigation first on a personal, intimate level (Trifling Sanctuaries, 2006) and then through questioning whole systems of social behaviours (‘Beautiful Strange Homeland’, 2008).
In the Trifling Sanctuaries series, the viewer is made to enter home interiors, rather intimate personal spaces like the bathroom or the bedroom, and become a witness and a participant in private moments, even illnesses and everyday emotional upheavals. These paintings are contemplations on the -so often delusive- small rituals that each one of us invents to lighten up our lives.
At the core of Sophia’s latest research is the examination of a particular type of pattern: Specific ‘visual irregularities’ that we see around us that result from social, aesthetic and gnoseological abnormalities. In the visual domain this is translated through a constant subversion between text and image or meaning, idea, preconception and image.
Sophia is currently teaching at the European University –Cyprus and is the secretary of the Chamber of Fine Arts, Cyprus. She mantains two studios, one in the heart of old Nicosia, in a basement, right below her house, and another one bigger and more spacious, in the suburbs of Nicosia.
• Obsessive Patterns, Part I: Beautiful Strange Homeland, Opus 39 Gallery, Nicosia, (10/11/2008- 22/11/2008).
• Trifling Sanctuaries, Pantheon Gallery, Nicosia, 13/10/2006-27/11/2006.
• No More Tears and Other Delusions, Irida Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria, 2004
• Spiritual Topography, Opus 39 Gallery, Nicosia, 2000
• Nude, pen and ink drawings, Gallery of the Friends of Fine Arts Organisation, Nicosia 1999
Group shows and participations:
• All Women For You, Pegasus Art Foundation, Limassol, now on.
• 2nd Annual Exhibition: Young Cypriot Artists, 5-20 December 2008.
• The Human Body, Pegasos Art Foundation, Limassol, November 2008
• London Greek Film Festival, 13-16 November, 2008
• DiverCYty, 30/9/2008 -10.10/2008, Council of Europe, Strasbourg.
• VIDEOHOLICA, supporting video program of the Biennial AUGUST IN ART, August 2008, Varna, Bulgaria
• 27 Place Del’ Europe Project, Paris 8/10/2007 Self-portraits, group exhibition under the framework of YK:EMX, Municipal Arts Centre, October 2007.
• Young Cypriot Artists, Gallery Akamandis, 10.2007
• Art Aware II, Famagusta Gate, Nicosia, Group Exhibition, 11.06.2007- 22.06.2007
• Let’s talk about Immigration, international exhibition, Municipal Gallery of Thessaloniki, Greece, 23.2.2007-10.3.2007
• Presences/Absences:Women Artists and Architects in the Modern Art of Bulgaria, Sofia State Gallery, November 2006.
• Nicosia Arts Festival, Kastelliotissa Hall, 12/06/2006
• Small is Beautiful, Limassol, Gallery Zaharias, 12/5/2005, Cyprus.
• Citė des Arts Competition, 24.12.2004- 11.1.2005, Sofia, Bulgaria
• A Dream Come True, The Basement, 24. 9.2004, Vienna, Austria
• Exhibition for the acceptance of new members in the Union of Bulgarian Artists (U.Β.Α), Sofia, 2004
• Figurative Painting, (U.Β.Α), Sofia 2003
• The Day After, Sofia, (U.Β.Α), 2001
• Participation in the Absolute Painting, a project of Absolute Vodka, Bulgaria, 2000
• Group exhibition, Alexander Gallery, Sofia 2000
• Three-man-show, Shoumen Art Museum, Shoumen 2000
• Youth Biennale “Vox Humana”, Ostrava, Czech Republic, 2000
• Annual exhibition of Cyprus Chamber of Arts, Limassol, 2000