Residency & exhibition at Fiksate gallery in Christchurch, New Zealand, 2020
On the final day of January 2020, the culmination of Robert Seikon and Anastasia Papaleonida’s residency at Fiksate was unveiled with the exhibition Long Trip of the Kokos. The collaborative works capture both a cohesive harmony, with subtle gradients and tiny details, while also proudly displaying each artists’ signature style: Papaleonida’s microbiological dots, squirming and humming, and Seikon’s crisp diagonal lines and spiky geometric shapes, providing optical illusions and paths of surveillance. From the clustered canvasses to the wall painting directly encountered when you enter the gallery, the show is filled with intriguing touches and impressive effects, washing over you without overwhelming.
. . . . . . .
“[In] the Philippines we saw a lot of coconuts, and the kokos [sic] were travelling somehow, they go to the water, they were moving by the ocean, falling down, jumping to another island, and maybe we are a little bit like these kokos; travelling, stopping here and leaving this small mark…” – Seikon
Long Trip of the Kokos is the culmination of Anastasia Papaleonida and Robert Seikon’s nearly month-long residency at Fiksate, and of their long travels through the Philippines and Aotearoa. The show continues Fiksate’s celebration of abstraction and urban contemporary practice, this time through the lens of a newly formed friendship that has brought the studio to life throughout January. These works represent each artists’ individuality, while also reflecting the combinative approach to image making forged through their blossoming collaborative process. Seikon’s dynamic shapes and lines and Papaleonida’s accumulative circular forms each render illusionistic effects and sensory responses, tied together through the subtle, shifting gradients and flashes of colour that play against the various shades of black, both masked and exaggerated by the contrasting hard-edged and organic geometric forms. The experience of travelling and working in Aoteroa (including their public wall works across the city), the diverse landscape both natural and built, the people and the conversations, have all inspired and influenced Seikon and Papaleonida’s output, and it is these memories that will remain with the duo when they return to Athens, Greece in mid-February. Watching the two artists work, both collectively and individually, it becomes clear that they value process. Their focus and understanding of the need to come together and allow space is reflected in their ordered workspace and careful organisation of brushes, tape and cups of paint in tonal spectrums. Importantly, this organisation does not stifle the spontaneity of their work, instead it encourages, and the small details become alluring aspects, rewarding inspection and submission to the images’ invitations.