Ziaka Maria (1948)

Born in Preveza in 1948, she studied painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence (1966-1970) and then went to London to continue with painting and printmaking at the Byam Shaw School of art and the City & Guilds of London Art School, also attending decoration course at Hammersmith-Chelsea (1970-1974). She was a founding member of the “Copperplate Group” (1977-1980) and the Union of Greek Printmakers and member of the Printmaking Centre Group. She has received the 1st Printmaking Award of the Fine Arts & Letters Foundation (1985 & 1997).
In her first solo exhibition at the British Council in 1976 she presented paintings and prints dominated by austere geometric compositions of architectural origins and a pronounced element of abstraction. Throughout her career, painting and printmaking coexist autonomously, with a relatively higher emphasis on the former. The two techniques feed each other, share the same vocabulary and subjects and start from visual reality. The combination of abstract and representational elements characterises most of her oeuvre. In painting, the large expanses of colour are decisive in structuring the space, while the rigorously organised compositions do not hinder the freely moving lines which are more poetic than descriptive. The skilled interchange of static and dynamic elements, the atmospheric use of light through colour and the indirect allusions to spaces associated with personal memories are some of the characteristics of her visual idiom.
She has had over twenty solo exhibitions and has participated in dozens of group shows in Greece alongside a host of international participations—indicatively: Modern Greek Prints (The Fine Art Society Ltd, London 1983); Intergrafik ’84 (Ausstellungszentrum am Fernsehturm, Berlin 1984); 9th Norwegian International Print Triennale Fredrikstad 1989 (Fredrikstad 1989); 1st Egyptian International Print Biennale (National Centre of Fine Arts, Cairo 1993); International Contemporary Art Biennale of Arad (Arad 2009), etc. Her works can be found at the National Gallery, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete, the Ministry of Culture, the Municipal Galleries of Thessaloniki and Rhodes, the Municipality of Aghia Paraskevi and in private collections in Greece and abroad.