Glass sculptor, Sofia Athineou, discusses inspiration behind her art

Surrounded by the dramatic bush of Auckland's west coast Waitakere Ranges, it's easy to see the inspiration behind Sofia Athineou's incredible glass sculptures. These large pieces represent vitality through light, texture and colour and appear to blend into the ever-changing landscape.

"From my studio I feel part of the light and energy of the bush with its birdsong and wildlife, sunsets, rainbows, rain and storms. It's an incredible place to work" says Sofia.

Sofia is exhibiting at NZ Sculpture OnShore 2018 and has had a long association with the event as an artist showing her smaller pieces indoors and more recently her larger pieces were part of the outdoor exhibition in 2016. She is currently working on five large pieces for the upcoming event and has titled these Zoe which in Greek means "life". Each piece which is produced though a process called glass casting will be about 31/2 to 4 metres and will be different colours, upstanding and swaying from left to right.

"The idea behind 'Zoe' is that to me life is 'as one'. We are all living and sharing this life and even though as individuals we are constantly changing and evolving we need to respect the different journeys we make in life. We also need to always consider that we are sharing our planet with other living organisms and our relationship to our planet is crucial for survival" she says.

In 2016 Sofia led a group of volunteers to help with refugees in her homeland Greece. She says the humanitarian mission left a huge impression on her. "I met many refugees who had previously led lives similar to ours but then their home became a war zone and they had to flee and fight for their survival. Many had limbs missing and had experienced unimaginable horrors but they were really positive and grateful. It put things into perspective for me and was a reminder of the beauty and good fortune we have here in New Zealand" she says.

NZ Sculpture OnShore is a national biennial event presented at the spectacular Fort Takapuna Historic Reserve on Auckland’s North Shore. It is one of the largest supporters of Women’s Refuge NZ and has donated over $1.7 million since its’ inception, helping women and children access safe places to stay, counselling and wrap around services. NZ Sculpture OnShore is grateful for the generous support of its sponsors, including Hesketh Henry, Harcourts Cooper & Co and Fisher Funds.

The 2018 NZ Sculpture OnShore runs from the 3rd-18th November at Fort Takapuna, Devonport, Auckland. Check out our website and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

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