ELENA T. SMYRNIOTIS
Dubai - UAE
Elena T. Smyrniotis is an artist who primarily works in oils and printmaking but has begun to experiment more heavily with gouache over the past two years. Currently located in Dubai, Elena has also worked in China and England, although she calls Canada home. Her engagement with Art started young and began to be more concentrated after taking a year-long student workshop at the Art Gallery of Ontario, in Toronto. She obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an Honours in Painting at the University of Ottawa where she studied painting mainly under Leslie Reid. Her oils at the point focused mainly on male nudes, however now that she lives in the Middle East her work has developed a focus on the minute moments with people as she tries to better understand them. In her art, she looks at the experience of those around her and captures the beauty they possess through all the uncertainty in their lives. Whether that uncertainty is parenthood, the pandemic, or the everyday difficulties of living. After a decade long hiatus in her practice, she has come back to Art since becoming a mother. Although her themes have significantly changed in that time. Through all the stress of motherhood, she has discovered a new focus that she did not possess before. An appreciation for working in the small moments, and embracing mistakes. Early on in her career, she has had several shows at venues around Ottawa, Ontario, including at La Petite Mort Gallerie. Her artwork was also featured in various publication. Her recent success has seen her collaborate with The Louvre, Abu Dhabi, to offer a series of workshops.
When I fell in love with Art, I fell in love with portraiture. Regardless of the time period, I found myself drawn to faces I did not know and wanted to try to understand. In my art, I attempt to look at the experience of those I know well and capture the beauty they possess through all the uncertainty in their lives. Whether that uncertainty is parenthood, the pandemic, or the everyday difficulties of living. After a decade long hiatus in my practice, I have come back to Art since becoming a mother. Although my themes have significantly changed in that time, I feel more confident in what I present to the world. Through all the stress of motherhood, I discovered a new focus that I did not possess before. An appreciation for working in the small moments, and embracing my mistakes. Although I feel most confident in oils, the constraints of motherhood and the influence of my own students have pushed me to work in new ways as I navigate the studio space with a three-year-old.