When you live with pieces of art, see them everyday, look up sometimes and find one of them has caught you sideways, or arrested you on the stairs, you come to see them anew and in depth and perhaps to understand the artist a little better too. There is an intimacy.
Why do I have three pieces by Maria Pavledis? Because I too am fascinated, as a writer, by inbetweenness and transformation where the edge dissolves between animal and human, or death and life, or solid state and air, and where that dissolution comes to feel magical or shamanistic, in an ancient way. In the Middle Ages Rat Kings were sometimes placed under entrance stones or inside walls to ward off evil spirits. Since Roman times owls have been believed to come for the dead. And that fox – well, where does she end and the smoke begin?
Watching Maria work on her smoke series made me realise the deeply instinctual way she works, almost in a trance, close up to the paper, lying on her back with candle in hand, allowing the smoke to make its watery shapes on the charred paper. And that’s what I see in my three pieces too: it is as if the artist has summoned them from another place, or allowed them to surface from another plane.
Rebecca Stott, Writer