Interview with Sofia-Iliana Georgiadi
Stefania (Nia) and I were classmates at Deree in Visual Art. We have collaborated many times for the Visual Art Society. After completing her studies at the (DEREE) American College of Greece with a degree in Visual Arts and Art History she received a scholarship for postgraduate studies in communication design at Central Saint Martins in London.
A few days ago we met and had an interesting conversation not only about our student years but about London where Stefania lives permanently, about the CREAM Athens art platform she runs, as well as about her collaboration with the Coningsby Gallery.
The artist Nia Hefe Filogianni has been living and working in London for the last four years. She deals with painting and sculpture with her main materials being wax, silicone and fabrics, focusing on the idea of plasticity and change.
After completing her studies at the (DEREE) American College of Greece with a degree in Visual Arts and Art History she received a scholarship for postgraduate studies in communication design at Central Saint Martins in London.
Upon completion of her postgraduate studies, Nia continues her artistic career by founding and having the artistic direction of CREAM Athens, an art platform that organizes art exhibitions, workshops and artistic meet-ups in central London supporting young Greek artists.
He also works in branding at the University of Arts London (UAL) in London.
For the last 4 years in London, Nia has worked for the British Museum, the Royal Academy of Arts, the galleries Parasol Unit, Predella House, Lethaby gallery, Unfold etc. She has also worked as an artistic mentor for mental health in Hackney (London). Articles about her career are available on Vogue, CNN Greece, Vice etc.
A few words about “CREAM Athens”
Empowerment through art and visual pleasure are the basic elements of its aesthetics.
Cream Athens was founded in Greece, is based in London and in the last two years has collaborated with Hot Sauce Magazine, CNN Greece, Coningsby Gallery, Vogue, Creative Debuts etc.
In 2017 he organized a series of monthly creative meetings in central London inviting the participation of guests, creating a network of exchange of ideas. This organic growth led to a successful exhibition in London in June 2018 entitled “The Neoprotofeminist show”.
This exhibition presented 15 artists, 1 fashion designer and 4 magazines.
This year, in collaboration with the Coningsby Gallery, we just completed another exhibition entitled “Whipped”, which focused on current global issues, including Brexit.
Inspired by Athens and the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus, who was the first writer to talk about the fluidity of things.
“Twice no one can enter the same river.” No one can enter the same river twice, because it will not be the same river and it will not be the same person.
The exhibition opened on July 3, 2019 at the Coningsby Gallery on Goodge Street and allowed 23 young artists from around the world to present their work to a new audience. The participating artists were Alex Jones, Artemis Vergou, Camila Gonzalez Corea, Christina Anagnostou, Dimitris Ntokos, Elliot Avis, Emily Gaki, Eve De Haan, Fungai Marima, George Petsikopoulos, Henry Glover, Huang Chiachia, Irini Bachlitzaki, La Valyra Fejarang, Mara Kallinikou, Maria Kalaoglou, Neo Gilder, Nia Hefe Filiogianni, Odysseas Glykas, Pao Leng Kung, Sam Creasey and Samantha Rosewald.
The exhibition attracted a large number of visitors and had free admission. In addition to the 30 unique works of art, the program was full of events and workshops that enhanced interaction and creativity.
We are also very proud to sponsor Fix Hellas, Otto’s Athenian Vermout, Amanthus, UAL Students Union, Cass Art, Panopus printing and Great Art.
-Tell us about your experience abroad in the field of art. Is it easier for a young artist to work abroad than in Greece?
-London has many more opportunities in the field of art than other cities and this creates a hope. While I was in Greece I felt that everything was very limited in terms of my development as an artist. When I came to London the very next day I had already closed a collaboration with a gallery and that made this change even easier.
Sancta-47 II, wax panel, Nia Hefe Filiogianni
-Tell us about the CREAM Athens art platform. What is its purpose and how helpful is it for young artists?
-CREAM Athens started when I finished DEREE through my despair for artistic collaborations in Athens.
I decided to create what I was looking for myself. CREAM Athens aims to promote young artists -especially Greeks- abroad. This is done through exhibitions, seminars as well as through our site.
– What did you gain from your collaboration with Coningsby Gallery?
-Brexit has shaken us is a fact. The main reason is because we do not yet know what will happen. I do not worry though. If London turns out to be unsuitable for me, I will move elsewhere. There are many places where the arts are flourishing. There are always alternatives as long as you look at things positively.
-Special moments from your student years at Deree?
-I spent my best years at Deree as the whole university experience was amazing. The facilities, the variety of courses, the teachers and my classmates played a role in this whole “journey”.
latex panel, Nia Hefe Filiogianni
LAST TIME I WORK WITH LATEX AND FABRICS FOR A NEW SERIES OF WORKS THAT WILL BE BASED ON ANCIENT MYTHS AND THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH MODERN DAILY
-What are you doing at the moment?
-At this time the afternoons after work are dedicated to the works of art that I am preparing for 2020, as well as to the next exhibitions of Cream Athens. I feel like I’m doing two full time jobs but I was always pushing myself so hard, so I’m used to it. To have the desired results, you have to work hard and stubbornly.
Lately I have been working a lot with latex and fabrics for a new series of works that will be based on ancient myths and their correlation with modern everyday life.
latex panel, Nia Hefe Filiogianni
Find my latest works on my site www.niahefe.com as well as on Instagram @Nia_Hefe
90 x 90 Silk scarf, Nia Hefe Filiogianni