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Harry Tryphonos

Harry Tryphonos

In search of solace

Harry Tryphonos, age 26 and a bit, writes about his experiences of connecting paint and canvas, in search of solace. 

“It’s been just over a year since, in search of solace from an afflicted mind, I first put a canvas on an easel and began to paint. While I can’t necessarily testify for the cathartic effects of exploring one’s creativity, I will continue to acquiesce to it’s increasing necessity in my life for a number of reasons. I see myself as a casualty of a society in which test scores are given precedence over all else, and I, along with my peers, were forced to inhabit a world of autocratic and stagnant syllabus at the first youthful expression of promise.

“For years I lived with the cognitive dissonance that comes from the inevitable disappointment of refusing to hit the objectives supplied for me by other parties, in which I had no interest. For these reasons, I wrestled with an ever evolving concept of purpose, and although I’m not sure if it is possible to reach the other side of such existential dilemmas, in painting I have at least found a lens to look through in which I see the way forward with relative clarity.

“Ernest Hemingway said: ‘There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed”. Certainly I empathise with that sentiment as I write this, as I do in front of the easel, but for the first time I inexplicably have conviction in my actions. When I think back to the philistine who was bred in censored art classrooms, it seems inconceivable that I would now be sat in my studio contemplating which of my paintings I should show to the public. My experience of the arts in my formative years seemed more stifling than liberating, and dark clouds hung low over galleries and studios for many years.

“So, now that this world is on my doorstep, it is important for me to try and make sense of my place within it. Well, I would hate to be aligned exclusively with an artistic movement and create within it’s boundaries, and equally I refuse to create with one eye on finances. In fact, on the one occasion where I did approach a gallery to exhibit, the response I received read: ‘If you want to be taken seriously, get back to us with prices and a detailed plan’. While I can appreciate that there are financial considerations for these institutions (although I offered to pay to exhibit), the rigidity is disconcerting.

“And so for these reasons, I decided at the start of the year to throw myself completely in to my art in the only way I know how; with disregard for all conventions, free of any censorship and without agenda. The definition of total war is ‘a war which is unrestricted in terms of the weapons used, the territory or combatants involved, or the objectives pursued, especially one in which the accepted rules of war are disregarded’ – and this summarises my line of inquiry nicely. There will be no ‘series of’’ or ‘in the style of’, no regard for medium or audience, only all out attack.

“My studio will be open as part of the Coastal Currents event in Hastings on Sunday 9 September, from around 10:30 until I retire from boredom. You will not be comfortable, nor likely impressed, but you are welcome nonetheless.”


Artwork by Harry Tryphonos, age 26 and a bit, can be found at Common Mormon Studios, Mount Pleasant Road in Hastings.

Posted 20:40 Sunday, Sep 2, 2018 In: Arts News

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