Art All Dayer: Live Artist – Maria Christou

The Art All Dayer is fast approaching and we have a whole bunch of new and exciting elements to add to what’s already a pretty huge event! Come over to 100 Barbirolli Square (Floor 5) on Saturday 24th September to shop at the art fair, take part in the workshops AND for the first time ever, see and collaborate with our live artist!

Maria Christou is a Graduate of Fine Art from Salford University. She will be based outside 100 Barbirolli Square and will be inviting you to come and join in with her work. We will have a huge canvas roll, laid out and ready for people to come and help create a masterpiece! It’s free to do and it’s all for a bit of fun!

We chatted with Maria to find out more about her and her work, and what you can expect from this live art collaborative piece.

Cotton On MCR: Please introduce yourself to the Cotton On MCR readers

Maria Christou: I am a multidisciplinary artist and a University of Salford Fine Art Graduate, from Cyprus based in North England. My work explores the process of creating art through an investigation into the unconscious mind to comprehend a narrative of trauma. It depicts a nightmarish fantastical world of distorted figures, revelling in madness and paranoia. The mediums that I’m exploring are painting, drawing, printmaking, video, performances, sound, analogue photography, and experimental darkroom processes.

COM: We saw your work recently at the Salford Fine Art degree show, can you tell us more about that?

MC: I am an artist that creates art in a vicious circle. I wanted to share with the audience the part of the process that is not always shown in exhibitions or galleries. The force of the nonstop creation. The process behind my work was too important to hide from the audience. It almost felt sarcastic for me to even consider putting my work on a clean white cube, it didn’t feel real. So I created a scene of what is going on inside my head, what I was doing to make a painting or experiment with mediums. All the thoughts, notebooks, sketches, poems, music, books, photographs, and experiments that never worked. In the end, all of it was the art itself. It looked like a nightmare, a bomb of art, chaos. One of the questions that I was trying to answer was raised by art historians that analyzed Francis Bacon. Is the studio the symptom of the art, or is the art the symptom of the studio? In other words, Is the messiness an extension of the painting, it needs to exist to create the art or does it exist because of the making of the art? As part of this question, I performed a live painting of an art piece on the opening night. It was very therapeutic almost like a ritual to be messy and create in my mess, like an open studio. This scene also represents how the unconscious mind works. The unconscious encoding of the incidental information.

COM: You work with a lot of different mediums, do you have one you are more drawn to?

MC: I use all the mediums for different reasons, it awakes something different but painting feels like my main lover. (Sometimes it feels like I’m cheating on paint if I haven’t paid much attention to it). When I want time to think for a painting, or something doesn’t go like I want it to, I go to the Darkroom or make lots of monotypes. I think sometimes that all the other mediums support the painting but I can’t create the same without that circle, like an ongoing workshop I need all the mediums for them to exist as separate.

COM: Tell us more about the work you’ll be creating at the Art All Dayer and how people can get involved.

MC: It would be like an ongoing workshop is performance live creating. There will be multiple mediums to choose from like oil paint, acrylics, pastels, ink, palette knives, paintbrushes etc, and it is an opportunity to share this experience with more people. We will be creating on a big canvas roll. It will be therapeutic to just create. Not much thought let your brain go mad. It will be a collaborative project with the people that will get involved in this. You can just throw paint on a canvas. I wanted to do it because I feel like many people just need that. To forget about their routine and even their art and just create and share these moments with strangers. It would be like a gift in art. We owe it to ourselves to create and push ourselves to express ourselves.


You can come and see Maria Christou‘s live art at our Art All-Dayer: Autumn Edition on Saturday 24th September, 11am – 6pm. Alongside this, we will have our huge arts and crafts fair, selling original art and prints, photography, ceramics, jewellery and more. Plus we will be hosting a drop-in workshop where you can put your inspiration from Maria’s demonstration straight onto paper, with either watercolours, pencils or acrylic paint. We also have a solo exhibition by Hattie Kongaunruan, she will be exhibiting her work with us and will be doing an artist talk happening at 2pm, to truly get to know her and her practice. And if you need a break from all this arty fun, then you can grab a cake and coffee at our mini food market onsite too! All this for just £1 entry (workshop tickets sold separately).


Find out more about the Art All-Dayer and what we have to offer here!

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