In 2003 Eleni Vernadaki began a series of ceramic objects entitled “Olympiaka”. In these “dynamic” ceramic forms, on a black and white “canvas”, she created parts of scenes from ancient Greek amphorae featuring athletes, in a way that echoes the form of the objects. The forms of the “Olympiaka” series are simple and dominate the space through their strong geometricity as much as their (in most cases) large size.

Regarding the sources that inspired her and the way a modern ceramic object could have an artistic dialogue with the past, Eleni Vernadaki noted: “I used black and white in their most intense form, projecting the art object in space, and made use of ancient artistic figure imagery in a fragmented manner. I attempted to express creatively in contemporary artistic terms this ‘memory as present’ and the two dimensions of yesterday and today that make up the universal culture. This time I wanted to respond to the challenge of the 2004 Olympics with a work that had been in my head for years.”

Earthenware with white glaze, painted with black ceramic stain, with added decoration, diam. 45 cm, 2003-2004. (Photo. E. Vernadaki Archive)