Symbolism and Subconscience in Vassiliki`s Art
Eleni Athanassiou
Symbolism, which was first initiated in painting at the second half of the 19th century, found a particular expression in the art of Nabis (in Jewish prophets).
The Nabis was a group of French artists, who, based on the philosophical tradition of mysticism, treated art as the medium through which they should transmit their position about the existence of a “reality” that is independent  of the physical substance of the individual and his ability to communicate with the outside world through his senses.

Vassiliki, like the symbolists – Nabis, embraces the philosophy of experience through intuition and instinct, the highest form of reality which Plato first defined as Idea in Timaeus. The Platonic as well as the Hegelian dialect define Idea as a reality of a transgressive nature. The primary concern of the artist’s work is to provide the spectator with messages and to initiate an introspective. Through a combination of colors and lines her art stimulates and makes accessible various stages of human soul.
The artist uses color without subduing it to any type of conventional rules, and she rejects any reference to place and time. By doing that, she succeeds in adapting the theme and the idea that is connected with its materialization with form and color, so that her art reflects the mystery that accompanies every esoteric experience. At the same time, as far as the picture is concerned, the abstraction of the background contributes in the creation of a highly spiritual atmosphere.
Her work is of a para - religious nature distinguished by the cross, angels an bloody wreaths, all of which are religious symbols that are not used in order to attribute a religious significance in her works.
Vassiliki borrows from religion, in this case Christianity, symbols of a certain significance and relation with the history of religion. Her goal is to have a substantial expression which has been, as it presently might be for some of us an expression of the subconscious. The immaterial angelic figures emerge from the unknown in constant motion outlining pictures of the human soul.
In the absolutely atmospheric and emotionally-charged City of Crosses, each of them adopts a different position and direction, loaded with burdens of various eras. Twenty one crosses carry twenty centuries of human history and evolution as well as the one that we are about to cross. Therefore, we are faced with a new world order which is everything but steady; on the contrary, its ever-changing nature creates a plethora of data of a limited validity with regard to time and place. This moral disorientation is reflected to the fully-anguished presence of Christ, who seeks a reference point and the beginning of man’s redemption.
The Cross, eternal symbol of martyrdom and redemption, joins the earthly world with the universe, and embraces humanity regardless its diversity. Within Vassiliki’s art it exists as a unifying power which appeals to dissimilar, if not opposing powers.
Based on the motion that each and all the elements of the earthy world correspond to those of the universe, the artist brings together the microcosm (man, earthy world) with the macrocosm (universe).
The theory of “correspondence” was originally met in Plato’s Timaeus and later in all 19th century mystical writers, such as Eliphas Levi, Emanuel Swedenborg and Charles Baudelaire, who developed a theosophical approach that influenced symbolists, particularly the Nabis. Each of their representatives such as Odilon Redon, Eduard Vuillard, Pierre Bonnard, even Paul Gaugin adopted a personal symbolic expression whose primary goal was the reflection of “reality” without a certain representational form but rendered convincingly with an appropriate composition of colors and lines.
Indirectly human-centered with regard to the theme, the messages, and its inspiration, Vassiliki’s art surpasses the limits of time. It is not only the reminding of the essential function of the subconscience as an influence to human behavior in general, but the sensibility of the artist with regard to human dignity which urges her to protest.
Her work, discharged of any conventionality and subjection have an original and authentic inspiration. Its strength is located in its ability to sensitize a part of out active existence – the subconscience. Each of her works is a familiar experience; if not, Vassiliki suggests that is should be. Similarly, she urges us to search for the truth and to return to authenticity. The spirituality and intense psychism that she reflects aim at succeeding all these. They are the artist’s moving power and our challenge for the future.
Eleni Athanasiou
Art Historian/Curator