Papaconstantinou Leda (1945)

She was born in Ambelonas, Larissa in 1945. She studied graphic arts at the Doxiadis School (1962-1965) and then attended a preparatory year at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1965-1966). Afterwards, she settled in Great Britain until 1974, where she studied Fine Arts at the Loughton College of Art, London (1967-68) and the Maidstone College of Art (Kent Institute of Art & Design), Kent (1968-1971). She had already abandoned the traditional art media since 1969 and began to exhibit spatial and action artworks in the spirit of the avant-garde trends of the ‘60s. After returning to Greece, she presented her first solo exhibition (installation) in Athens (Ora Gallery, 1974). She was one of the first artists that introduced such art forms during the ‘70s, such as environments, happenings and performances in the Greek visual arts scene.
In terms of subject matter, her works alluded to the human body and gender identity from the outset, with a tendency to register sensory and mental stimuli associated with memory and time. She uses various expressive means (natural materials, objects, three-dimensional constructions, collages and sculptures, movement, sound and discourse, in combination with photography, video, etc.), with her own presence in most of her works being her oeuvre’s hallmark. The ceremonial character and autobiographical allusions enhance the multilevel communicative character of her actions. She divides her time between Athens and Spetses.
She has held over twenty solo exhibitions in Greece and abroad, and has participated in more than sixty group ones. Most notable among these are: Environment-Action (Athens, 1981), Europalia, (Antwerp, 1982), the 20th Biennale of Sao Paulo (1989), Athens by Art (2004). In 2002, her first retrospective was presented at the Vafopoulio Cultural Centre in Thessaloniki. In 2005, her monograph Leda Papaconstantinou: Performance, Film, Video 1969-2004 was published by Cube Editions. In 2006, the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art and the 47th International Thessaloniki Film Festival organized presentations of her oeuvre under the same title, at the Benaki Museum, Athens and the (Pascha) Bay Hamam, Thessaloniki.
In 2007, she was artist guest of honour at the 1st Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art. In 2010, she created a large composition entitled Time in my hands for the ‘Monastiraki’ metro station in Athens.