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Member Spotlight: Chrysanne Stathacos

Monday, May 02, 2022 9:00 AM | Callie Smith


May 2, 2022

This week we recognize the work of artist  Chrysanne Stathacos.

“Ritual action with nature brings us back to our source, the powers in our psyche, which are common to all human kind. At times catastrophes pop up and people connect, remember, and tie ribbons to trees, touch water with awe, weep by candles, hold a stone for a memory and link fingers wishing hoping praying for relief from suffering. These reflexes are a reflection to a constant spirit, to a past time when understanding nature was part of daily living.”

“The Rose Mandala installations are based on historical circular structures with the intention of creating a temporal work which changes over time. These works are created by plucking dozens of roses apart petal by petal circling coloured mirrors range from 10 feet  to 60 feet wide. The viewer’s senses are touched by waves of rose scents inhabiting the space of the work. The mandalas are left to dry as the petals are reduced to a quarter of their original size. At the end, the mandala is dismantled in a final performance. The Rose Mandalas have been swept up, gathered and thrown to the winds or blown away by human in breath by myself and the audience. These installation / performances reflect the ephemeral process of change, age, decay and emptiness.”

"Purify is the first of a series of floating sculptures, 2008-2011. Imagine a large haiku poem, floating in the river, with lotuses and lilies growing, pushing out, revealing themselves while purifying the water of toxins. The intention of these works is to probe a way an integrated form can engage the public, heal the river, and yet be both poetic and political while maintaining a conceptual framework. Going, gone, go  – beyond is the intention."

“Refuge, a wish garden, is an interactive public artwork actings as a garden for meditation, protection, and wishing actions. Inside a 20-40 foot circle of sand, eight benches are placed around a large magnificent tree in a circular fashion mirroring a feng shui pa kua. The benches are protected vantage points in which one can sit and view the wish garden, creating a transcendent space before one makes an action. Each direction corresponds to a color, an element, and an aspect of life.

The benches are made from wood, two small trunks holding up a log shaped plank, inspired by  benches found in Algonquin Park, Canada. The surface of each bench is painted the color of its direction. The tree has 20-30 foot lengths of hand-braided fabrics tied and wrapped around transforming it into a wishing tree. Baskets placed in between the benches are filled with cloth/fabrics to tie on the tree, rocks to pile up, sticks to draw on the sand and flowers to place anywhere.”

Chrysanne Stathacos is a multidisciplinary artist of Greek, American and Canadian origin. Her work has encompassed printmaking, textile, painting, installation and conceptual art. Stathacos is heavily involved with and influenced by feminism, Greek Mythology, eastern spirituality and Tibetan Buddhism, all of which inform her current artistic practice. Stathacos has exhibited in museums, galleries, and venues internationally. She has participated in countless exhibitions in various media, but she is most known for her unique combination of performance and installation. She has received funding for her projects and her artwork from foundations and government agencies such as the Art Matters Foundation, the Japan Foundation, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Foundation, among others. chrysannestathacos.com

Featured Images: ©Chrysanne Stathacos, "The Three Dakini Mirrors (of the body- speech and mind)" (2021), "Rose Mandala Mirror (three reflections for HHDL) Performance" (2009), "Purify," Destination Schuylkill River, The Manayunk Eco Arts Festival (2010), "Refuge, a wish garden," "Flower Power at Fiendish Plots, Lincoln, Nebraska" (2014).

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