As I was packing the “archive” to travel from Belfast to Antwerp I thought about its moveable nature. I thought of how differently it feels when it’s in Belfast, in a studio that looks over the familiar Black Mountain, from how it feels in Antwerp, a place that is still very new in my senses and feelings. During my last trip to Antwerp and while I was questioning my decision of constant travelling in a moment of weakness, I came to the realisation of how important this constant movement, this constant shifting of geographies, is for this work. Travelling. Crossing the borders. Shifting the perspective. Looking from a distance.
I look at the island from afar. I am surrounded by a very different landscape. Political, historical, geographical. But is it really that different? Where do these places coincide? Islands, sores, civil conflict, external interference, intergenerational trauma, conversation, resolution, reparation. I look at the island from afar. Because of the distance, it has gotten monumental dimensions. I am afraid I romanticise it. I am hoping for a field trip, but I am also terrified by its perspective. The island has become this living thing that exists despite of me and beyond me.
I am trying to see the island. Looking for the island. The Island Island with capital I. All the islands that ever existed.
!The island as a metaphor.! I have this massive archive in my hands and sometimes I don’t know how to deal with it. It intimidates me. I slowly unpick the information. I combine elements from different categories. I create new categories. Are categories problematic? I shuffle things around; I make a mess. I repeat and I repeat, and I obsess over it.
And repeat again and repeat and obsess. I look at the island from afar. I look from the island to the world.
I am trying to fit into its shape, I am trying to fit its shape into somewhere else. I am trying to fit the shape into another shape. I am trying to create a new shape. I am trying to create a new space. A space in-between, a space of possibility.
Making time, marking time, painstakingly stitching the lines on the fabric, paying attention to the details as they deserve. Labour. The women. The women of the island. I haven’t found one text written by a woman. Why haven’t I found any texts written by women?
From the descriptive to the abstract. From the sensical to the non-sensical. Transforming a socio-political archive into an artist’s archive? Activating the archive. Performing the archive. Transforming the archive. Chartographing the archive. The poet said he wrote his poems on the island. He folded the paper into bottles and buried the bottles in the earth. They were found years later.
Vasiliki is a dance and visual artist based in Belfast. She was trained as a contemporary dancer and worked as a freelancer with companies and choreographers across Europe. She completed her Art and Design Foundation in 2014 in UAL. She was awarded an MFA Fine Art from Belfast School of Art in 2020 and an MRes in Art and Design in Social-Political context from Sint Lucas Antwerp in 2022.
As a visual artist she has exhibited in Safehouse Peckham, Camden Image Gallery, Menier Gallery London, K-Gold Temporary Gallery Lesvos, Platform Arts Belfast, Catalyst Belfast, PS2 Belfast, QSS Belfast, Draiocht Dublin, Mart Dublin and Morpho Antwerp. She has two upcoming solo shows with QSS as SmythStasinaki (a duo with artist Ronan Smyth) and with Platform Arts.
She was awarded Ulster University’s Greer Carson Film Award for her video work ‘Diamanti Daxtylidi’ which was then screened as part of Mount Florida screenings at CCA Glasgow. She was a recipient of AEP funding and IERP 1, IERP 2 and CIRP funding from ACNI in 2020 and 2021. She is a recipient of Belfast City Council’s Microgrant scheme.
Vasiliki is one of the artists-contributors for Array Collective’s commission that won the Turner Prize 2021. Her work that is part of their award- winning installation has now been acquired by Ulster Museum and forms part of their permanent collection.
This year she has been commissioned by F.E. McWilliam Gallery to create a new movement work as part of the unveiling of Kevin Killen’s new sculpture ‘Murmur’ and she is also commissioned to create a new durational performative installation by Maiden Voyage Dance that will be performed at Belfast Children’s Festival in 2023.
She is a member of QSS artist studios Belfast.