Art

This illustrator’s intricate black and white drawings will leave you mesmerized

For four spectacular days in October, Sydney will be host to more than a hundred artists from around the world. One of whom we’re really excited about is Melbourne-based creative Chrysa Koukoura.

Originally from the island of Rhodes in Greece, the artist moved to London for her studies, then relocated again to Australia. It’s through Koukoura’s constantly changing environment and diverse life experiences that she’s developed a striking visual style.

Using pen on paper, Koukoura creates mesmerising images of geometric patterns (such as in textiles and diagrams), cityscapes, and animals. She then scans the piece into a digital file, and continues working there.

Creating these intricate artworks usually takes Koukoura anywhere from a couple of hours to over a day.

On her website, Koukoura laments on her art: “With a slight hesitancy in working with colour, I use fine pen on paper with meticulous detail, my aim being to draw the viewer in for a closer look.

She adds, “I love the simplicity and the restrictiveness of working in black and white, as it requires me to bring something extra out of an image that wouldn’t usually be there had a colour been involved.”

As previously mentioned, Koukoura will be among a hundred other artists at the third edition of The Other Art Fair Sydney. The so-called “world’s leading artist-led contemporary art fair,” is a highly-anticipated event wherein art lovers can meet and buy direct from the best emerging, undiscovered artists – all handpicked by industry experts.

The Fair will include an immersive four-day program filled with workshops, talks, art tours, VR story-telling, activities for families, and live performances from street artists. It will be held at the Eveleigh’s Australian Technology Park from 26-29 October.

We were lucky enough to interview Chrysa Koukoura to find out more about her upcoming exhibit at The Other Art Fair.

How would you describe your artistic style to a stranger who hadn’t seen it before?

“My work is graphic, intricate, and aesthetically considered. Work that, at first, could be mistaken for something created on a computer, but at closer inspection, the imperfections and not-quite-straight lines reveal it’s hand-drawn. Works of patience works of compulsion.”

Who are the artists/creatives that have inspired you over the years?

“Work that I find truly inspiring is old work that is ahead of its time. Something that’s 50-60 years old that looks like it could have been created today. Timelessness in pieces I find inspiring.

“I like minimal graphic design styles, for example Laszlo Moholy, and work by Richard Caldicott. I absolutely love all work by Victor Moscoso, who was one of the pioneers of psychedelic band posters during the ‘60s and ‘70s.

“Other current artists whose works I enjoy are George Greeves and Malika Favre.

“Most of the pieces I love to put on my walls and draw inspiration from are more towards graphic design than fine art, and I think that really shows through in my work.”

Tell us what people can expect to see of yours at the Other Art Fair?

“I’m going to be showing a refined selection of pieces that have been inspired by my obsession with art-deco design, a touch of psychedelia, and the use of using my grandfather geometry set. Not quite sure how they all go together but hey ho, it’s all held together nicely with some rose gold foiling!

“I will also have lots of smaller drawings for people to flick through that span various stages of my drawings and development.”

Tell us about how you learned or were trained to create the way you do?

“I studied graphic design at Camberwell College of Art in London where we were encouraged to explore various way to execute briefs. I always leaned towards illustration, drawing, and painting in any which way. I began focusing on using fine-line pens once I drew a series of insects in my final year.

“I suppose it’s been a gradual development since then from drawing things like bird and insects which were from still-life or a photograph, to creating large-scale patterns like I’m doing at the moment.

“I feel like I approach a drawing like I would approach designing a poster on the computer. First sketching layouts, then mapping it all out on the page with a pencil, and then go on from there. Similar process – apart from the fact that it probably takes me 20 times longer doing it by hand. I have a habit of making life difficult for myself. Makes it more interesting right?”

For more details about The Other Art Fair, head on over here. You can also check out Chrysa Koukoura’s other works by visiting her website.