• biography

Rea Stavropoulos Rea Stavropoulos Rea Stavropoulos Rea Stavropoulos Rea Stavropoulos Rea Stavropoulos Rea Stavropoulos Rea Stavropoulos Rea Stavropoulos Rea Stavropoulos Rea Stavropoulos Rea Stavropoulos Rea Stavropoulos Rea Stavropoulos Rea Stavropoulos Rea Stavropoulos Rea Stavropoulos Rea Stavropoulos Rea Stavropoulos Rea Stavropoulos Rea Stavropoulos Rea Stavropoulos Rea Stavropoulos Rea Stavropoulos Rea Stavropoulos Rea Stavropoulos
  • 1953 Born in Athens, Greece. British nationality.
  • 1955 Moves to London, England, with family. Returns to Greece every Summer.
  • 1995 Moves to Florence, Italy, with family.
  • 1996 Buys a house with olive trees on a Tuscan hillside and begins to create a garden.
    Now lives and works in Florence and London.
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  • 1970-1987 Studies Art and Dance in London and Paris (St Martin's School of Art, and the Architectural Association, London; London Contemporary Dance School; London Dance Centre; L'Ecole des Beaux Arts and Joseph Russillo Dance School, Paris.); Studies Languages, Literature and Law (Italian in Florence; French at the Sorbonne; BA degree in English and French and Master's degree in French from Sussex University; Diploma in Law from City University, London; professional qualification as a Barrister, Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Painting Studies from St. Martin's School of Art).
  • 1986 begins to practise Yoga and meditation.
  • 1976 First group exhibition in Florence, Italy
  • 1985 First one-woman show in London (The Garden Gallery)
  • 1987 Sets up a studio in London and begins to work full-time as an artist. (After previously combining art with work as a teacher, translator, interpreter, tour guide and lawyer.)
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  • 1995 Sets up studio in Florence opposite 13th century Bargello museum which contains sculptures by Donatello, Michelangelo, Cellini and Giambologna.
  • 1996-2004 Begins long-term artistic dialogue and collaboration with Samuella Bianchi who has studied Teatro Danza (Dance Theatre) in Florence and is writing a thesis on Pina Bausch and Tanztheater.
  • 2004-8 Works in Florence studio with Margot Chatard and the dancers Francesca Stampone and Simona Grazzini.
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  • 1976-2003 Participates in group exhibitions in private and public galleries in England, France, Italy, Greece and Spain (including: the Gardner Arts Centre, Brighton; Brighton Museum and Art Gallery; the British Council, Athens; Camden Arts Centre; Westminster Arts Council; Drassanes, Barcelona; Musée National du Livre d'Artiste, Verderonne.)
  • 1985-2001 One-woman exhibitions: The Garden Gallery, London; The New Art Gallery, London; Lauderdale House, London; Salisbury Arts Centre, England; Enoteca dei Giraldi, Palazzo Borghese, Florence - paintings and presentation of artist's book "Thalassa"; "We Map Out Our Obsessions" - Galleria Via Larga, Florence - sponsored by Provincia di Firenze and British Institute of Florence; "A Walk in the Woods - an artist's journey through language and landscape" - talk and slide presentation given at The Harold Acton Library, British Institute of Florence and presentation and exhibition of artist's book "A Walk in The Woods"; Loft de Arte Actuel (LARAC), Barcelona - "Jardines Secretos": watercolour and video works and collaboration with Greek dancer Kalitsa Orfanouthaki for a unique performance.
  • Member and Trustee of the Women's Art Library, London. Contributor to "make" - the Magazine of Women's Art, London
  • 2003 Publishes "Dance, Dreams and Journeys - fragments of a life" an artist's book which presents recurring themes in the artist's work.
  • 2004 "Juego de dados" (Game of Dice), exhibition at Centre Civic Ateneu Fort Pienc, Barcelona under the auspices of the European Social Forum (issues of identity/ dialogue/ multi-culturalism)
    "Flower Power" Collyer-Bristow Gallery, London
    "Spain" Collyer-Bristow gallery, London
  • 2005 "Jogo de Dados", exhibition at Casa de Cultura Mario Quintàna, Porto Alegre, Brazil
  • Collaboration with six other artists on unique artists' book "Hommage à Lewigue" presented in Porto Alegre
  • 2006 "Secret Gardens" temporary installation in Boboli Gardens, Florence
    "Secret Gardens" one woman installation and exhibition, La Corte Arte Contemporanea , Florence (exibart)
    Publication of catalogue for "Secret Gardens"
    Talk and presentation of two videos of her work at The British Institute of Florence
    Interviewed by The Florentine, issue 18 May 2006, c.f. www.theflorentine.net (page 20) Freelance arts writer for The Florentine (c.f. 2 November 2006 and 16 November 2006)
  • 2007 Interviews artists in Florence and discusses support network for artists in the city. Article for The Florentine on contemporary artists in Florence, issue 12 July 2007, c.f.  www.theflorentine.net (page 20).
    Travels to China and Hong Kong and visits gardens and the Great Wall.
    Becomes a Friend of Boboli Gardens.  Writes article for The Florentine on Boboli Gardens and The Giardino Bardini, issue 4 October 2007 c.f. www.theflorentine.net  (page 19)
    Teaches watercolour painting in Boboli and other Florentine gardens.
    Visits Yorkshire Sculpture Park (Andy Goldsworthy retrospective) and gardens in Yorkshire, Cheshire and Sussex. Visits and paints garden at Rousham.
    Paints on Greek island of Sifnos.
    Transfers plants from mother’s garden in Athens to Florence and London.
    Begins to plant a garden in London.
    Gives drawing classes in Florence studio.
    Studies fresco techniques at La Bottega del Buon Affresco in Florence.
    Begins collaboration with dancer Paola Carlucci in  Florence studio. Discussions around Calvino’s “Città invisibili”.
    Reads Rebecca Solnit’s “Wanderlust – a history of walking”.
  • 2008 Teaches drawing and painting in Florence.
    Paints frescoes at La Bottega del Buon Affresco.
    Begins  collaboration with dancer Chiara degli Innocenti in Florence studio.
    Explores research ideas for practise-based Phd in London. Meetings at Chelsea College and Goldsmith’s College and attends presentations by Research Students at University of the Arts, London.
    Visits the Gardens at Ninfa with Boboli Friends.
    Meets former student, Don Anselmo Florio, at the Monastery of Casamari.
     Painting trip to Greek islands of Simi and Koufonissi.
    Studies sculpture at The City Lit, London.
    Designs garden in London.
    “Basura” (“Rubbish”), group exhibition curated by Javier Quintanilla at Centre Civic Ateneu Fort Pienc, Barcelona, October 2008.
  • 2008 Christmas Eve an evening walk through the "Sassi" in Matera, Southern Italy, with Gianni Maragno. Meets Nicola Lisanti at "Il Comignolo" and is invited to have an exhibition at his gallery in the "Sassi".
  • 2009 Participates in drawing workshops in London at the National Gallery and the Tate Modern. Attends painting workshops at the National Portrait Gallery in connection with the Gerhard Richter retrospective and examines connections between photography, painting and ideas of representation .
    Visits Vienna and sees the Breughel paintings and the Greek sculptures at the Kunsthistorisches Museum. Sees Gerhard Richter's watercolours at the Albertina.
    Throughout May, paints in gardens in and around Florence with friends from England and writes illustrated article for "Painting the Spring in a Florentine Garden", The Florentine, Issue No.104/2009, June 18 2009. www.theflorentine.net
    Sees Wagner's opera "Gotterdamerung", conducted by Zubin Mehta and directed by "La Fura del Baus" at the Teatro Communale in Florence.
    Paints on the islands of Rhodes and Antiparos in Greece.
    Sees the exhibition of Robert Mappelthorpe's photographs and videos "The Perfection of Form" at the Accademia in Florence.
  • August 2009 visits Venice Biennale of Art for the seventh consecutive time with dancer and choreographer Kallitsa Orfanouthaki and continues their ongoing discussions and projects on the origins and workings of creativity.
  • September 2009 - Exhibition "Mythologies 2009 - Rea Zoe Stavropoulos" at "Il Comignolo", Sasso Barisano, Matera, Southern Italy.
    Exhibition and Presentation of Book "Mythologies 2009 - Rea Zoe Stavropoulos": English and Italian texts written by the artist for the Matera exhibition and images by the artist.
    Gallery talks about the work given by journalists Carmela Cosentino and Enzo Scalcione.
    Artist's talks and presentation of the exhibition, in English and Italian, to students and teachers from local Secondary Schools ("Licei").
    Artist's Gallery talk to women attending the "Matera Writers" Festival 2009.
    Interviewed for Italian Television channel TRMTV by Michele Cifarelli Invited by Donato Pace to participate in forthcoming touring exhibition of artists from the Mediterranean region.
  • November 2009 Journey to Cyprus: visits father's family in Paphos and the village house where her father was born, built by his great great grandmother in 1760. Paints at Petra tou Romiou - the legendary site where Aphrodite rose from the sea - and sketches the Third Century AD mosaics at the House of Dionysus, the House of Aion and the Villa of Theseus in Paphos.
  • December 2009 Private presentation in London of Matera video and small works from "Mythologies 2009".
  • February 2010 Invited to Athens for Kallitsa Orfanouthaki's solo dance performance at the Akis Thavis Theatre.
    Collaborates on video work with Kallitsa and writes "Dancing into Light" in English. Collaborates with Sonya Krantonelli on Greek version of text.
  • March - September 2010 Commissioned by Donato Pace to produce works for "Drappi Colorati" exhibition and installation opening in the Sassi di Matera in July 2010 and touring to various venues through Basilicata, Puglia and Calabria. Works in Florence on "Aphrodite Project" begun in Cyprus, also making studies in the Uffizi from Botticelli's "Birth of Venus".
    Paints outdoors in a Florentine garden the mixed media work "Afrodite" for the installation in the Sassi di Matera. Meets writer and journalist Melinda Gallo and is interviewed for The Florentine. (ISSUE NO. 125/2010 / JUNE 17, 2010)
    Visits Villa Il Palmerino on the outskirts of Florence. Participates in various debates organised by the Il Palmerino cultural association - Jane Fortune's campaign concerning works by women artists in the Medici collections. Writes "Visibility for women artists" The Florentine (ISSUE NO. 126/2010 / JULY 1, 2010); the role of photo-journalism and the effects of migration on various communities within Europe. Hears the Brazilian poet Maria Theophilo read, in Portughese, her poems about the Amazon forest, and sketches her hands as she recites.
  • December 2010 Article for The Florentine "Women Artists of Wit and Great Ingenuity", (Issue No.133/2010 / December 9, 2010)
  • January 2011 invited by Javier Quintanilla to participate in a group installation/exhibition on the problem of Rubbish and Waste to be held in Barcelona and then transferred to France. Work for the exhibition was prepared in Florence and London.
  • 8 January 2011 - Letter published in the Financial Times Women artists have to be part Mrs Moneypenny, part Harry Eyres about women artists as role models for society.
  • April 2011 "Looking over Leonardo's Shoulder" article for "The Florentine" (Issue No.140/2011/April 7 2011)) on the Renaissance drawings exhibition at the Uffizi, transferred from London and "re-presented" in Florence - a collaboration with the British Museum in London. Interviews Marzia Faietti, Director of the Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe at the Uffizi and Hugo Chapman, Keeper of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum (Assistant Keeper at the time).
  • May 2011 invited with the Associazione Culturale Il Palmerino of Florence by Diana Ivanova director of the Goatmilk Festival in Bela Rechka, Bulgaria, to participate in the 2011 Festival, with workshops, talks, debates and artwork; created an installation in an Abandoned House, gave a talk and poetry readings in English and Greek, including TS Eliot's "East Coker", Kavafis' "Ithaca", Seferis' "To Periyiali", and own writings. Performance filmed by documentary film maker Albena Kovatcheva and also by researchers from the University of Sofia.
  • June - July 2011 in association with "Il Palmerino" taught a course in watercolour painting in Historic Gardens in and around Florence.
  • July 2011 Visited 56th Venice Biennale of Art with Kallitsa Orfanoudaki.
  • July - September 2011 in London works on themes relating to "Rubbish" and social unrest (especially during and after the troubles in London in August) for Barcelona exhibition and auction. Sees Kevin Spacey's performance as Richard III at the Old Vic and is influenced by his comments on the demands that the role makes on an artist's sincerity and the confrontation with his darkest side.
  • September - October 2011 participated in "Basura, caos i art" ("Basura caos y arte"/"Rubbish, Chaos and Art") curated by Javier Quintanilla at La Casa Elizalde in Barcelona, a cultural centre sponsored by the city council. The exhibition was then transferred to l'Espace Beaujon in Paris as part of an international cultural exchange between the two arts centres.
    Participates in debates and discussions at Casa Elizalde in October through texts sent to Javier Quintanilla and other exhibiting artists.
    Works enter the Victoria and Albert Museum permanent collection Examples of all artist's books and cards by Rea Stavropoulos are purchased by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London for its permanent collection.
    A "Secret Gardens" paperwork is donated to the Victoria and Albert Museum for its permanent collection.
    "Dancers" series of small oil paintings donated to the Fremantle Foundation for foreign artists in Tuscany at Villa Peyron, Fiesole. "al Bosco di Fonte Lente"
  • October 2011 invited by Giovanna Giusti, Director for 20th century and Contemporary Art at the Uffizi Gallery, to participate in "Horti", an exhibition on the theme of Nature, in Florence.
  • October 2011 Teaches a watercolour painting course based in the gardens of Villa Il Palmerino, Florence, in Italian.
    Installation of three dimensional paperworks, papier non tissé and artist's books in the "Salone" of Villa Il Palmerino. Gave talk about the work and techniques of watercolour.
  • October 2011 Matera, Basilicata. Invited to work at the studio of restorer Franco Santeramo. Works with mixed media on outdoor landscape themes and on studies from the Greek vases in the galleries of the Museo Ridola in Matera.
  • 2012 Studies Metal sculpture and Photo-etching in London.
  • March 2012 Group exhibition in Paris "Poubelle, Art et Chaos", Espace Beaujon, sponsored by the Mairie de Paris. Arranged for Greek choreographer and dancer Kallitsa Orfanoudaki to come from Athens to give a performance at the opening and filmed the intervention. Invited with participating artists to visit artists' studios and arts foundations in Paris.
  • June 2012 "Poubelle Art et Chaos" transfers to Centre Artistique de Verderonne north of Paris.
    Interviewed by Courrier Picard, 14 june 2012 - Mieux consommer pour moins polluer.
  • June 2012 Solo Exhibition "A Fragile Balance" at Burgh House & Hampstead Museum, London.
  • June – July 2012. Burgh House & Hampstead Museum, London – "Fragile Balance" - One woman show of paintings, photo- etchings and three-dimensional works from Florence and London.
  • February - March 2013 - participates in "Silver Action" at Tate Modern, London: a participatory artwork devised by artist Suzanne Lacy, involving several hundred women in the UK to examine public and political action, aging and activism through a series of workshops and a public performance.
  • Letter published in the Financial Times Not intending to retire gracefully about the spirit of protest and "Silver Action"
  • 9 March 2013 - Participates in the "Silver Action" debate at the Women of The World Festival at South Bank in London.
  • April 2013 - Artist’s Residency at Villa il Palmerino, Florence. Invited by the Associazione il Palmerino to participate with three other "nomadic" women artists in the exhibition "Coincidenze" in the Salone di Villa Il Palmerino. (www.palmerino.it)
  • Teaches watercolour painting outdoors in the gardens of the Villa.
  • "By choice and coincidences" article for "The Florentine" (Issue No.181/2013/April 11 2013)), Four international artists at Villa Palmerino.
  • 2013 visits Venice Biennale with Kallitsa Orfanouthaki.
  • September 2013 move to new studio in Brighton.
  • December 2013 "and soft winds blow aroma of honey..." joint exhibition at Burgh House & Hampstead Museum with Amanda Dean
  • December 2013 Brighton Open Studios studio show at New England House
  • April 2014 to Florence Associazione Il Palmerino for launch of exhibition "Chaplin e Costa" - takes photographs for souvenir brochure.
  • May 2014 Open Studio in conjunction with Brighton Festival.
  • May 2014 starts teaching regular watercolour painting classes at Burgh House, London.
  • June 2014 visits studio of artist friend and collaborator Javier Quintanilla in Noves, near Toledo, Spain.
  • July - August 2014 Journey to Cuba. Produces illustrated "Cuba Diary".
  • October - December 2014 Produces limited edition calendar "Hampstead Sketches" and concurrently works on artist’s book "Walking on the Heath - Pages from an Artist’s Sketchbook".
  • October 2014 participates in the all day ."Grand Drawing Circus" organised by "Draw" in Brighton.
  • November 2014 begins art workshops in Brighton studio. Burgh House art classes continue and holds outdoor art classes on Hampstead Heath.
  • December 2014 participates in Open Studios, Brighton.
  • Radio interview on Juice 107.2 radio show "Brighton Nights" to talk about New England House.
  • Open Studios Radio interview with Laura Evans for the Business Show on Radio Reverb about small creative business models during the Open Studio days.
  • March 2015 Women of the World Festival at South Bank, London, invited to attend the Charities and Campaigners Day and the Women in the Creative Industries Day - talks about the history of Women Artists and the work of the Women’s Art Library and the Advancing Women Artist’s Foundation, Florence.
  • Appointed to Advancing Women Artists Foundation (AWA) Florence Council of Advisors.
  • April 2015 invited to participate in the Inspiring Women in the Arts event in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern, to talk to 800 schoolgirls about careers in the Arts and "life journeys".
  • May 2015 Attends inaugural meeting of AWA Council of Advisors in Florence and launch of Artemisia Gentileschi Conference in the Sala Bianca of the Palazzo Pitti (event filmed by Michael Palin for the BBC documentary on Gentileschi) organised by the Medici Archive project.
  • June 2015 Illustrated talk at Burgh House & Hampstead Museum about sketchbooks and Artist’s Books: "Walking on the Heath - Pages from an Artist’s Sketchbook".
  • July 2015 Painting on Greek island of Aegina.
  • Visits Venice Biennale.
  • Works on "Abandoned Houses" video project and other video pieces.
  • September - October 2015 Spent one month in Colombia - travelled to the far north of the country, through the La Guajira desert to Punta Galenas in a 4x4 with a driver from the Wayúu people - local indigenous inhabitants who were never subjugated by the Spaniards; staying on a ranch in the desert and visiting the northernmost point of Colombia and of South America. Then along down the northern coast of Colombia to Cartagena, into the jungle of Tayrona and up to Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta - painting and keeping a diary and sketchbooks.
  • November - December 2015 Brighton/ London Teaching and painting.
  • Brighton Studio show with invited artist and long-time collaborator Javier Quintanilla from Spain December
  • Interviewed for Latest TV by Ceirney Eddie
  • Javier Quintanilla’s Video of Rea Stavropoulos at the December studio exhibition reading Painting as an Act of Faith”,
  • January 2016 - Starts working in Brighton studio on “Swimmers” series inspired by underwater photos taken in Greece by son Marco in 2002, with models Frankie, Michaela and Laura.
  • April - May 2016 To Florence - Organised Residential painting course at Villa il Palmerino with London students painting in gardens of the Villa and also at Villa Peyron al Bosco di Fonte Lucente.
  • Invited to give a talk At Villa Il Palmerino,to mixed Italian and English speaking audience, about forthcoming London exhibition and the work of artist Helen Allingham (1848- 1926):“Beyond Watercolour Gardens - two Artists a Century Apart” / “Due Artisti Divisi da un secolo”
  • May 2016 - Visits the Chalkidiki peninsula in Northern Greece. Travels through mainland Greece in the footsteps of Alexander the Great and Philip of Macedon, stays in Thessaloniki visiting the Archaeological and Byzantine museums and also visits the royal tombs at Vergina. Travels down the mainland to Athens visiting the sacred city of Dion at the foothills of Mount Olympus and the monasteries of Meteora. Revisits the archeological site of Delphi in a storm and Delphi museum.
  • July 2016 - Invited by Burgh House & Hampstead Museum curator Rebecca Lodge to co-curate “Beyond Watercolour Gardens: Helen Allingham Revisited” 5 July - 9 October 2016 and to exhibit her own artworks alongside Allingham’s together with texts giving her interpretation of Allingham’s life and work from the viewpoint of contemporary woman artist.
  • July 2016 - Interviewed by Sussex University Alumni Association for “Spotlight On….” profile.
  • Enters the world of Social Media with a professional page on Facebook and an Instagram account - both @Rea Stavropoulos Artist.
  • July - October 2016 Gives lectures, gallery talks and visits and participates in co-curators discussions throughout the period of the Burgh House exhibition
  • Illustrated talk on final day of the exhibition “Helen Allingham in the Twenty-First Century”
  • Video of gallery talk on You Tube
  • September - October 2016 Painting on Island of Aegina September - October 2016
  • November 2016 Invited to attend Ceremony in Florence commemorating 50 years since Florence flood as Council member of the Advancing Women Artists Foundation
  • Two paintings selected by art critic and curator Sacha Craddock for the ING Discerning Eye exhibition at the Mall Galleries London November 2016
  • December 2016 Brighton Studio show
  • February 2017 revisits Matera, Basilicata
  • March 2017 attends WOW - Women of the World Festival at South Bank, London.
  • April 2017 leads residential painting course at Villa Il Palmerino, Florence.
  • June 2017 painting on Greek island of Aegina
  • August 2017 attends Venice Biennale
  • September 2017 - invited to organise and lead a “Big Draw” session at Burgh House & Hampstead Museum - part of a National public drawing initiative in the United Kingdom
  • September 2017 Painting on Greek island of Chios
  • October 2017 - Letter published in the Financial Times "Rewriting the myths about women" Letter to Financial Times (OCTOBER 28, 2017)
  • October - November 2017 Workshops and discussions with models/ collaborators Francesca Cluney, Naomi Wood and Michaela Meadow on “The Female Gaze/ the Naked and the Nude/ Artists and their Models”: ongoing research.
  • December 2017 Studio show Studio Lecture to invited audience on “The Naked and the Nude”
  • March 2018 - invited to organise and teach a Life Class at Burgh House & Hampstead Museum
  • 2017-8 continues to teach regular watercolour painting classes at Burgh House & Hampstead Museum, outdoor sketching sessions around London and painting and drawing workshops in Brighton studio
  • April 2018 leads residential painting course at Villa Il Palmerino, Florence. Illustrated Talk at Il Palmerino “From Secret Gardens to Shifting Spaces”: a project for Athens
  • May - June 2018 Two person exhibition with Iliana Theodoropoulou “Shifting Spaces/ Μετατοπίσεις” at Fokianou 247 project space, Athens. Related talks and painting workshops

 

  • Works in Private and Public collections in UK, France, Austria, Greece, Spain, Italy, Russia, Cyprus, USA, Sri Lanka, India and South America.

 

  • Teaching and lecturing:
  • Life drawing and watercolour painting classes (adults); Life drawing course planned specifically for dancers; English language, literature and writing skills for adults (individuals and groups); lecturing on professional accountability and the legal process at De Montfort University and Surrey University in the United Kingdom; leading Art History tours of Europe for American High School and University students and adults; Co-director of Accademia Britannica, Florence, organising and lecturing on cultural and garden tours of Tuscany and the Veneto.