On the Couch with Eleni Nakopoulos

Eleni NakopoulosWho is Eleni Nakopoulos?
I am an artist, who’s been painting full time for the last 15 years. I had my first solo exhibition in 2010 and am getting ready as we speak, for my third solo exhibition ‘life captured’.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I can name a few things such as textile design maybe but I think I still would have come back to painting full time.

Who inspires you and why?
Mark Rothko for his defiance and the way he communicated human emotion and spirituality like no other. Van Gogh for his obsession, regardless of the enormous difficulties he encountered during his lifetime. Ralph Steadman for his amazing ability to capture the moment and lets not forget Brad Holland for his eerie sensual illustrations.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I would continue to question, question, question.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
New York City for the theatre, arts in general and Spain for its unique architectural history and the calm way it makes me feel.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
I would take them to see some exhibitions, have coffee at any of the great coffee shops from Surry Hills to Waterloo, take a stroll along Cremorne Point reserve, catch a play at Carriage Works or the Wharf and stroll down Hickson Road at the Rocks for a quick bite and a glass of wine.

What are you currently reading?
I don’t get a chance to read as much as I would like, painting takes all of my time, but I’m currently reading Cavafy’s (Greek poet) biography.

What are you currently listening to?
I’ve recently discovered Satie and in particular Gymnopedies. What a contemplative piece of music this is.

Happiness is?
Family, good friends and good food.

What does the future hold for you?
Who knows, but continuing to question through my art is as certain as I can be.

After graduating from the South Australian School of Art, Eleni Nakopoulos became, not only an internationally award winning art director, but one of only a few female creative directors ever appointed to a major Australian advertising agency. Then at the peak of her career Eleni returned to pursue her art.

Eleni has produced a number of bodies of work:  2010 ‘just add water’ solo exhibition, 2012 Finalist:  The Mosman Art Prize, 2013 ‘exhibition of past works’ solo exhibition. Eleni is currently preparing for her third solo exhibition.

The motivation for this new body of work was inspired by a visit at the zoo, which provoked an ethical question that is necessary and troubling. In an age where, we are seeing every day, the destruction of so many species, through poaching and de-forestation, it seems ironic that what is naturally wild and free, may only survive in a caged or controlled environment.  It begs the question, surely there could be another way?

‘life captured’ is currently on exhibition at The Depot Gallery II, Waterloo till 15 March 2014. For more information, visit:  www.eleninakopoulos.com.au for details.

Image: Eleni Nakopoulos