Basilios Papaioannou has been creating free standing and wall-based sculptures and installations since graduating from the National Arts School in 2000.
Papaioannou has participated in a number of exhibitions at Eden Unearthed, and his vertical works have included the giant cicada Green Grocer, a dragonfly Leonardi de Wolf, and this year Butterfly Banquet, which have found unlikely homes on the corner of the M2 and Lane Cove Road. He has also exhibited Zen Landscape, an eggshell “landform”,this year is also been selected to show Relocation, Relocation, Relocation; a flock of ibis escaping from “the country” to find a home along the artificial creek system at Eden Gardens.
Papaioannou finds inspiration from flora and fauna and highlights how local and global issues like climate change and rapid urbanisation are effecting all of us. He brings humour, scale and education, and believes it is important not to preach but stimulate through thought, physical interaction and dialogue. He uses many different mediums such as eggshells, furniture, pianos and everyday mass-produced objects. He added, “I am truly honoured to be part of Eden Unearthed again and to display my installations that are inspired by the serene settings of Eden Gardens.”
Trained as a landscape architect and paired with his practical landscape construction experience, his works have a strong emphasis on using found and recycled timber, often using outdoor furniture. Relocation, Relocation, Relocation not only is made from repurposed piano keys, furniture and coat hangers, it is symbolic too or the repurposing Ibis have had to undergo themselves due to climate change and farming practices. The irony of what was once considered a sacred animal in Ancient Egypt and is now referred to as a “bin chicken” has been highlighted by the placement of a few rouge birds near the cafes recycling bins. Ibis have evolved and adapted to their urban environment by scavenging, and here in the grounds of “a new Eden” they too have adapted to this ever-changing world. Along similar themes, Butterfly Banquet is a scaled up version of a butterfly known as the Australian Painted Lady, which can be seen in Sydney’s backyards and are known for their mass migration each spring in which they can travel inland up to 600km. Their habitat is threatened by urban sprawl, deforestation and climate change, and this super sized sculpture hints at the greed of our societies consumption.
As a local artist to the area, it’s wonderful to be able to include Basilios in our selection of finalists, and feature his installation on our launch poster.