Artist Statement  

To work with threads seemed sissy to me … But circumstances held me to threads and they won me. I learned to listen to them … to speak their language … I learned the process of handling them. [1]

Anni Albers

The Threaded Line is a body of paintings that explores line as a thread across a pictorial surface through the medium of paint. My approach to line as a thread is connected to my childhood and the experience of learning to embroider with my Armenian Grandmother, Elizabeth Babayan. Through this early engagement with threads, I visualized a thread to be like that of a line, and line to be like a thread. In this way the two elements line and thread became synonymous and interchangeable with each other.

The importance of this approach is multifarious.  It allows me to work between the language of abstraction and something known, remembered and renewed – and between two traditions in Armenian visual culture: that of manuscript painting and textile crafts.

The idea of a threaded line offers me unlimited possibilities in painting. Each painting in this body of work developed in response to another, through processes of layering paint and mapping the surface of the canvas, with a looping elongated line across pools of drifting pigment and mica.

Two forms come to dominate this collection; the first, that brings together fragmented sections of “threads” in the form of an organic grid, and the second through a processes of metaphorical weaving the line in a continuous loop, that at times hints towards a memory of a geometric structure. Through these tapestries of line I am simultaneously caught in the processes of measuring time and space on the pictorial plane. In this way the process of painting is transformative, so that the painted surface of a canvas becomes a site of discovery that can be thought of as a location, which the viewer may gaze upon, within, and between, the multiple layers of paint.

Continued themes within this body of paintings that I remain preoccupied with include; presence, absence, visual vibration and visibility in painting as they tie into a dialogue between representation, abstraction and cultural memory. In this framework issues such as colour, structure, and mark making are key concerns as they connect across cultures, histories and idioms in painting in a contemporary cultural context such as Australia.

[1] Albers, “Material as Metaphor,” 75.

Elefteria Vlavianos | Threaded Line

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