North House Gallery is delighted to present a show of textile art by Archontoula Tsatsoulaki, work which has grown out of her MA degree show at Chelsea College of Arts in 2019 where her presentation and personality shone out from her contemporaries. Equally noticeable was her thick mane of long black hair, which, as it transpires, she uses in her work.
The focus of Archontoula’s practice is to understand the secret messages, symbols and codes in the patterning of clothes. For her main installation she collected her (naturally shed) hair, transformed it into a yarn and wove it with natural materials such as wool or cotton into a long textile grid. Recalling a map of an urban grid, it represents a map of her own secret thoughts and symbols from her wanderings through London.
The grid and concepts of space are also investigated in her ceramic pieces as in the structure of Grid, a hanging net made of long beads and linen thread. A negotiation between historical traditions and map tracing occurs on the surface of several pieces. This is apparent in The HAIRitage Path, a series of quilts where the traditional technique of hair braiding is recalled and reinterpreted through the process of embroidery.
The art pieces as symbols of indirect messages are organized in the exhibition space as a collection of objets trouvés that explore the boundaries between art and craft through a new language inspired by secret codified methods of communication.
Archontoula completed her BA studies in painting at Athens School of Fine Arts in 2016. She studied at the Royal Academy of Arts in Antwerp on an Erasmus+ scholarship in 2014, specializing in site specific art andinstallation art, and in 2019 completed her MA in Textile Design and sustainable practices from Chelsea College of Arts. She has participated in art workshops, residencies and exhibitions in Greece and abroad.
Unravelling my secret paths is Archontoula’s first solo exhibition in Britain where she has been granted pre-settled status. It has had to be postponed twice because of the COVID lockdowns and is still dependent on her travel from Greece and quarantine going to plan.