φύλλα – φύλα


Cynara cornigera, Pteridium aquilinum, Hedera cypria, Pinus brutia, in the order shown 80 x 100 cm each, spray on canvas

Phylla Phyla: Together with all of the sentient beings in our ecosystem, we are part of a single, interdependent phylum crying out for solidarity. Anticipating the extinction of more and more species in the desertification process of Cyprus, the artist has documentednative plants in the series “Φύλλα/Leaves” (2019) titled by their scientific names: Cynara cinginera, Hedera cypria, and Pinus brutia. Leaves are the Earth’s lungs, and these spray-painted canvases suggest diagnostic X-rays, with color codes below representing stages of health, from green to pallid yellow. The images exhibit the intimate texture and sensuality of photograms—as if the plants have been pressed behind glass, still breathing. Cathryn Drake

Phyla sounds like ‘φύλλα’ /filla/ in greek which means leaves with a different spelling

What if, those plants species around me extinct in due time or transform their shape due to the dessertation phase that the island is undergoing. Thus, I came up with the idea that I should preserve at least their visual representation on canvas, thinking that years ahead this could act as a clue to agronomists investigating the change. This is why the title of each artwork carries the scientific name of each plant I used to produce the artwork.
In each artwork I use only three colours of spray cans, a green shade to match
the leaf colour, a gray tone which is the transitional shade and a yellow tone which represents the dry phase. All other colours produced on the canvas are combinations of the above three. The three colours are depicted as three gradient tone lines at the bottom of the canvas, finishing always with the starting colour, forming in that sense a colour cycle. I like the idea of gradient because I feel it as a poetic representation of a beginning and an ending. The gradual change from one colour to the other seems smooth and calming but sentimentally the change from one phase to the other is usually dramatic nonetheless. E.Phyla

Photography by Eleni Phyla, Emma Louise Charalambous at the Edit Gallery