Jill Yakas Gallery
Judith Allen-Efstathiou
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Judith Allen-Efstathiou, a graduate of Tufts and Boston Museum School, first came to Greece on a travelling fellowship awarded to her by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 1968. Since then the artist has received several grants and awards from international art institutions for her work, the most recent in 2001 at the International Exhibition of Myth and Vision Athens, where she won Second Prize in Painting. Judith Allen-Efstathiou exhibits regularly in the USA and Greece. Her most recent one person show - Gathering Tiers was at the Jill Yakas Gallery in April 2003.

A rich international cultural history is behind Judith Allen-Efstathiou's work, as is a strong feel for pattern and texture. Through refined processes she creates works which often convey a sense of what has survived disintegration, as well as an atmosphere of the passing or suspension of time.

Like the most compelling of memoirs, her artwork shares the point of view of an individual and the unique and invariably complicated mixture of facts and instances that come together across cultures and oceans, across centuries and languages, to translate into a singular understanding.

(Quote by Lauren Fenterstock, Director of the Hay Gallery, Portland, Maine.)

Over the years Judith Allen-Efstathiou and Jill Yakas have collaborated on commissions by Interior Designer Arminio Lozzi for artwork for Greek Passenger Ferries and Cruise ships. (See Commissions).

Judith Allen-Efstathiou is a member of AFI artists' group. Her work is in collections in the USA and Europe.

From the beginning Allen-Efstathiou was the most unusual fusion of things; her mother was from an old Maine family and her father from East Kentucky's Appalachian Mountains. By the age of five she had already lived in such diverse locations as Orono, Maine; Athens, Georgia; Bronx, New York and Larchmont, New York. In this nomadic approach, Allen-Efstathiou compresses several lives into one:

The dislocations in my life and cultural history (growing up in Maine and New York and then living in Greece for many years) have influenced my work, which frequently includes unusual juxtapositions of cultural motifs. I am interested in how small, seemingly random details can speak as incidental markers of an individual, a culture, an era. I examine that which lies on the margins of these cultural narratives - the contents of an old trunk, a jewelry box or a handbag - focusing on the tangential and the overlooked.

The Botanical Series was inspired by family stories of Allen's great-grandmother, Eliza Neeley, a healer in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky, who was said to have had knowledge of herbal remedies and the power of healing hands:

"In the Botanical Series, I isolate, enlarge and repeat images of wildflowers and medicinal plants linking them to domestic rituals with titles like house dress and prom dress. The healing and edible plants of Spring, such as chamomile, nettles and mallows become the patterns on faded housedresses and sun-dresses. The dried thistle and thorns of summer on the more formal behave-yourself clothes like prom dresses and wedding dresses. I describe historical and sacred sites with the vernacular of random graffiti left by past visitors, and the chance wildflowers growing from walls.

The Stitched Together Series honors five generations of artists in Allen-Efstathiou's family from her great-grandparents to her daughter:

In the Stitched Together Series I create composites of personal and cultural identification by appropriating images from artwork created over a span of a century by members of my family. For example I might combine a Victorian era drawing of my great-grandfather and figure studies from the '30s by my mother with the stitching of an Appalachian quilt made by my grandmother.

In the Contents of her Handbag Series, I present the random contents of a handbag as a portrait of the owner, her culture and her era. "

In this way, shifting the scale and context of these images blurs the lines between public and private, personal and historical to reveal an articulation of place that more closely mirrors our own experience, fleeting, migratory, absurd at times but always populated by these markers.






Botanical Series
(Wedding dress)







Contents of her Handbag Series

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