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INTRODUCTION • Exhibition by Ilias Toliadis


INTRODUCTION • Exhibition by Ilias Toliadis

INTRODUCTION • Exhibition by Ilias Toliadis


Art, in my mind, is inherently social.

In order to enrich my work and perspective, I have adopted an itinerant lifestyle, trying to evoke the past and translate it into a contemporary context. In this process I have interacted with many people from a wide range of places and walks of life, yielding an impressive diversity of reactions, views and questions.


Consequently, I have come to the realization that art is not only a personal statement or expression but also a ''bridge'' among people, a translator of different aesthetics, experiences and memories.

While I am a practising painter above all else, incorporating various techniques and materials, in my installations I draw on other media, such as sculpture and collage-based methodologies, to reflect a spirit of interdisciplinary investigation.



About Ilias

Ilias Toliadis was born and raised in the village of Damaskinia in North Greece. He took his first drawing lesson in the "Praxis" drawing tutorial school in Thessaloniki and was accepted into the Fine Arts School of the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki Greece where he completed his studies with a final project entitled “Austere expressionistic portraits & expressionistic landscapes depicting Byzantine buildings”.

After completing a compulsory and arduous military service for 1.5 years in Evros River, he moved to Athens where, while travelling throughout Greece, he practised the profession of painting for 5 years, also taking on theatre and dance performance projects. In 2000, he moved to London UK where he completed an MA in visual arts at the University of East London with the final project,  “Circus (the raft)”, a 100-square-metre installation incorporating various materials such as wood, fabric, metal and ropes, in “discussion” with abstract paintings, exploring the idea of refuge, drawing from experiences during his army period.

Afterwards, while maintaining contact with London, Athens and Damaskinia, he began a substantial period of nomadic life, passing through many countries including Spain, Portugal, Serbia, Turkey, Egypt, France, Germany, Sweden, and Italy, to which he would frequently return, producing a significant number of landscapes, portraits and abstract paintings in the city of Florence. In 2008 he visited Canada for the first time, and would return for long periods as an artist in residence. 

From 2013 to 2015, he completed his MFA in the IAMD program at OCAD University in Toronto, writing a thesis with the title “Travelling Talismans” combining an installation of 67 wooden stools, drawings and mixed media collage-painting, attempting to relate the struggle of migrants artists to integrate into new environments. He is fluent in Greek and English and has basic knowledge of Spanish, Serbo-Croatian and Italian.

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