Valia Lolidou: lonely walks in the dark are good for you

It's impressive how a single story can inspire such diversity through different mediums! Visual artists from around the world are taking part in WHISTLE project, in an attempt to present a multi-sensory experience never attempted before in the Greek visual art scene. And that's because we do not think of visual art as an experience that when viewed fades away, but as an excuse, a triggering event, a reason to produce an artistic conversation and a literal dialogue with everyone interested. This is the way we feel visual art should work.

In this short article we present the work of Valia Lolidou, a talented visual artist from Greece.

Why did you decide to participate?
I was motivated by the project's original idea. It combines cinema and fine art. An invitation to create work inspired by superstition. An ideology of creating art through art, which is contemporary and something I had never done before. I believe that the blending of motion picture, that is cinema and the usually static picture of fine art, can offer a lot to all participants and the audience.

How did you learn about the project?
I saw the open call in my faculty. Fine Art, University of Thessaloniki.

What intrigued you?
The fact that the project is based on a story that is inspired by the dark side of Greek folklore. Superstitions. Mystical mood and dark atmosphere are elements I always try to incorporate in my work also. I believe art should explore things "beyond reason". An expression also found in the realm of superstition and unworldly ideas.

What is your approach on the theme?
Fear creates the need to believe in superstitions. It is a fear that cannot be explained reasonably. A fear that is exorcised with the same unexplained way. An autoimmune psychological defense, similar to blind religious beliefs and drag use. A behavioral system, that gives the illusion that everything will go well. Do not walk under a ladder, keep away from black cats, never whistle when alone.

What is you workflow?
The idea runs in my head constantly. When someone says to me "knock on wood", when I hear somebody whistle or when I walk alone at night. The process is simple. Headphones, music, walking at night time. When all the stress from the day settles down, all kinds of great ideas comes to mind. Lonely walks in the dark are good for you!

Influences, trends, technique?
My works are created using the "photogram technique". By applying objects on a photo sensitive paper, illuminated by a projector, you can create a negative in black and white. An "almost" photograph. This technique was made popular by American artist Man Rey, who called his work "rayographs". Between the abstract and the representational, these outlined photograms present a powerful mysticism.

What would you like to communicate through your work?
My goal is not to transmit a reasonable and clear message, rather to create a sensation. A feeling. I would like the viewer to experience my work emotionally. Not with reason. Besides the very theme of Whistle runs against all rules of reason. Nonetheless, there are logical elements in my works. Things that a viewer can decode by observing a work closely. Something that will work as a reward for those with a great eye.

Do you believe in superstition?
"This is going to happen, if you do this or that". That was the compulsive practice pattern, of my childhood. A tactic very close to the meaning of superstition, with the goal of controlling my stress and mood. Now, I don't believe in superstition, but the fact that many people do is something that intrigues me.

Why should people come to the exhibition?
The viewer will have the opportunity to witness the outcome of this process. The most interesting part of the project is its contemporary character. Its multiculturalism. And the production of art through art. Artists from all over the world, with different backgrounds tackling the same story. Moreover, Whistle is a truly open art project, where all participants submitted their ideas voluntarily. 

All the works created for WHISTLE project by Valia, will be available to the public during the transmedia exhibition.

Valia Lolidou is born in Thessaloniki, Greece. She is an undergraduate in Fine Arts, University of Thessaloniki. She has participated in many art exhibitions.

Find Valia Lolidou in INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK