Lydia Dambassina


Please tell us a bit about yourself and how you are defining your work? Or in other words, if you needed to explain what you do to someone “outside” the art world, what is the essence it comes down to in your oeuvre and why?

In fact, I explain my work in the same terms, whether to someone in the art world or to someone outside it.

Most of my work is about life with its horrific constraints due to economic inequalities and the resulting destruction of nature.

Also, my work has to do with identity and its formation and autobiography, as I presented it for example, at RADIUM PALACE through my video Le Lac which leads us to freedom from all material constraints, immersed in a bright world, full of hope and a blossoming nature, a sort of heaven on earth.

Lydia Dambassina, Le Lac

How do you personally define “wellness”, but also in terms of the collective?

Wellness” for me means the freedom to escape this life where humans are confined in a totally controlled (regulated) life.

To achieve this, in one of my latest works, I am focusing on our collective unconscious, I have proposed a spatial externalisation as a therapeutic method to “unchain” our mind -if only for a moment- from all inequalities and disparities…

If we talk about today’s artists creating and contributing healing spaces and works that can transform society and restricted mind sets…how can they reach the collective that is not aware of being a collective?

The example of Nicolas Vamvouklis and K-Gold Temporary Gallery on the island of Lesvos is a remarkable example of how to proceed to actually reach the collective.

If there is respect for the public and the will to get to know it without paternalism and condescension, the public feels at ease and becomes receptive to the exhibited works.

I think the healing spaces become more attractive especially with the help of live music and I never thought that there is a need to understand art, nor that artworks are able to transform society, but what is sure is that art can break the routine of life.

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Can you share how spending time and exhibiting on site on the island of Lesvos influenced you? (Mentally, physically, emotions, sensations.)?

The last two years, I have lived on another island. By waking up at sunrise and contemplating the brilliance of the sea, we inevitably ask ourselves existential questions which we normally answer while being locked up in our studios.

There, in the middle of the wind and silence we often respond to it with contemplation rather than with creation…

The fact of living in nature, without the noise and stress of the city is a luxury without equal. And here I can quote this text by Roland Jaccard in The Inner Exile, which accompanies my video Le Lac exhibited in Lesvos:

A woman working on an assembly-line was distraught: her fingers froze at the task. Then one workmate revealed what her secret was: to imagine herself lying alone, scantily dressed, on the shore of a placid lake, in an ideal weather, serenely contemplating the tranquility of the place…

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K-Gold Temporary Gallery, Georgia Kotretsos, Scotch on the Holy Rocks,

Which work or approach of your fellow artists in this exhibition inspired you especially and why?

I liked the work of all the artists, and I don’t say that to be pleasant. The exhibited works made sense, without unnecessary chatter and here again Nicolas Vamvouklis knew how to bring us together in a spirit of sharing. I liked the performance of Georgia Kotretsos who offered cheap whiskey in crystal glasses with white marble ice cubes – as we do for very expensive whiskeys.

Everyone used to drink this whiskey in Greece in the 80s and 90s, the years of euphoria.

This work touched me because it meets my work which for 17 years has been particularly related to the moral and economic crisis.

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“RADIUM PALACE” Finissage: March 6, 2022 in Agia Paraskevi, Lesvos
K-Gold Temporary Gallery in co-organisation with the North Aegean Region curated by Nicolas Vamvouklis

K-Gold Temporary Gallery: RADIUM PALACE