Born in Athens. She attended a Foundation Course in Art & Design at Central Saint Martin’s London. In 2005, she graduated from Athens School of Fine Arts were she studied painting under Dimitris Mytaras. From 2002 till 2005, she worked as an art teacher in Halkis Art Workshop.

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2007 I bloom a little more…, Municipal Art Gallery of Kallithea, Athens
  • 2007 Homo Materialis, Athens Art Space - Mary Alexiou, Athens

Group Exhibitions

  • 2011 Eat it, Art Prisma Gallery, Piraeus
  • 2011 Look at my book, exhibition of artists books, Art Prisma Gallery, Piraeus
  • 2010 Opening, Art Prisma Gallery, Piraeus
  • 2010 Perivallon, Art Prisma Gallery, Piraeus
  • 2009 Christmas exhibition in Piraeus, Art Prisma Gallery, Piraeus
  • 2009 Erotica, Art Prisma Gallery, Piraeus
  • 2009 glyki mou ear!, Art Prisma Gallery, Piraeus
  • 2009 Eros…Erotes, Classical Larissa Imperial, Larissa
  • 2008 Bazaar 2008, Art Prisma Gallery, Piraeus
  • 2008 Conversations, Art Prisma Gallery, Piraeus
  • 2008 Vernal 2008, Art Prisma Gallery, Piraeus
  • 2008 Xefantoma, Art Prisma Gallery, Piraeus
  • 2008 Image-Space-Action 2, Technopolis-Gazi, Athens
  • 2007 B.A.LA 2007, ex General Hospital of Lamia
  • 2007 Corpus, Art Prisma Gallery, Piraeus
  • 2007 Civilization of the Olive Tree, Byzantine and Christian Museum, Athens
  • 2006 Touch 2006, Municipal Gallery of Agios Nikolaos, Crete
  • 2006 Graduates 2004-2005, Athens School of Fine Arts
  • 2006 23K+K, Municipal Gallery of Kallithea, Athens
  • 2006 Dia-roes 9th Young Artists Festival, Syndagma Square city metro
  • 2005 And everyday… a day against AIDS, Syndagma Square city metro

Ongoing Project

  • 2012-13   Pandώra
  • 2012-13    Painkillers

Situations might be apparently completed in the work of Elia Iliadi...

And, if the decisiveness in the writing and her rhythmic trend give the impression of a strong and clear temperament, which also tends to a drawing balance, strangely enough each picture simultaneously digs up thousand inner conflicts.

Compressed in enclosed forms and robust volumes, the immaterial excitement vibrates, slowly resulting from an original and maybe partially unknown psychic wound. Then, like a razor that cuts and engraves, Iliadis’s sharp scripture reminds of a dynamic move that “breaks into pieces a certain boiling of feelings” to curtail it and put it in a “painted map of sensitive and personal regions”. There, in that anthropocentric cosmos of an undetermined era, angular figures, like unknown countries, can unfold their strains through the expressive power of texture or color that is carried in their own flesh, their own ground. A green here, the hinted texture of rust elsewhere, the deep black of Chinese ink later, all of them jailed in the geometry of the design, finally in harmony with her in a symbolic but powerful expression of meanings felt.

This exploration, then, in the opaque and icy room of dangerous reminiscences... this conjectural treatise leading to a strange artistic outburst, step by step... this mysterious atmosphere still hiding secret levels of inside interpretation in search of protection... this strong escape towards Hope, is also Iliadis's liberating journey to the open and unconventional paths of creation.

Marina Kanakaki
Art Historian - Museologist
Translation: Theodora Kriemadis
December 2010


I bloom a little more...

Black ink, like the dark blood of a poetic sacrifice, engraves symbolic motives on innocent surfaces, like a personal tribute of honor. Women… Naked women, “parted” in two, black and white, split, with arms up in the air and hair disheveled… Women mothers, women alone… Women that search, that don’t talk anymore, that don’t talk yet. Women in movement. Still, closed female forms. Female shapes. “Linear Women” within a frame. And Elia Iliadi walks among them…

We, in our turn, follow the imprinted paths of her imagination. They lead us to the free country where the boundaries of the descriptive detail evaporate to become female smell. Elia holds the key of the “Essential Box”. The one that doesn’t keep the expensive perfumes and the golden fandangles. The Box-bomb that scares the suspicious, angers the jealous, enrages the tyrants. The Box where is kept, like a treasure, the stolen elixir “Be Yourself” and the flame that reduces to ashes the incomplete chart of the traditional, “natural”, “biological” female avenue.

Elia’s simple, black and white compositions that marginally refer to modern sacred Icons, whisper metaphoric thanks. A visual thank you to her unknown friends who, with a painful mental “exercise”, have surpassed every dead-end to enlarge their field of existence. Women-heroines, heroic Women. Inspired, enlightened… Elia is grateful: “If I can paint today, I owe it to all these women that have struggled so that we can now enter the School of Fine Arts, have a right to keep a studio and to organize exhibitions without been persecuted. So that we are not obliged to choose either white or black”.

For these paintings she did not need any colors. They were present in her previous work, but, for the time being, they are absent, letting textures play their role. “I was so interested by the theme, that colors were unnecessary. Besides, there is color in drawing. Every color is contained in white and black, light and darkness”. Likewise, Bergman colors in the screen, with the intense light, his rebellious black and white Monica, a free creature, decisive, uncompromised, and deeply feminine.

Elia’s lines flow sharp, strong, firm, like the decisiveness that shines permanently in her eyes. Like the tone of her voice. Like the ink she uses, which can not be erased. The figure either emerges immediately, or is torn to pieces with no second chance. Thus, we become witnesses of another struggle. An artistic risk. Which exposes the artist to the danger of loosing the essential charm, the expressive flight and the creative need. “Of course, in order to achieve what you have now in front of your eyes, I have done five hundred studies! Basically, I know what I seek, the synthesis that I desire”. But all this requires absolute control, like the one that possesses the dancer when he executes a difficult choreography and, although he knows it by heart, is afraid to betray it.

In her “choreography” Elia ignores the third dimension, obliging our eyes to embrace it with the first look. Breast, eye, hand, head, all, in the same time, emit their voices like signals. There are times when naked trees can be heard. Their dead leaves fly, following the birds, in order to paint, here and there, the sky…

Those various sharp lines into the empty “theater” of a page -the branches, the movements, the hair, the expressions…- seem, all together and from afar, like small stars that keep alight traces of images, familiar to all of us… Small fragile lamps of collective memory made of paper.

Marina Kanakaki 
Art Historian – Museologist
* From the catalogue of Iliadi’s solo exhibition “I bloom a little more...” at the Municipal Art Gallery of Kallithea "Sofia Laskaridou", Athens, 2007

Homo Materialis

The work of the painter Elia Iliadi came as a natural outcome of her intensive study of the human body and its multifaceted ways of expression and movement.

Her studies are primarily influenced by the ancient Attic black-figure vessels that date back to the 5th century B.C. Elia Iliadi is developing those figures, by adding up plastic qualities that perfectly match the timeless expressions of the human body. By allowing them to dwell in the third dimension, she manages to bridge the gap between painting and sculpture.

A corollary of this attitude is the opening-up of the human dimension, through this “key” of motion, where the element of texture, acting as a kind of human substance, place the figures outside of their otherwise flattened space.

Mary Alexiou 
Archaeologist – Art Historian
* From the catalogue of Iliadi’s solo exhibition “Homo Materialis” at the Athens Art Space - Mary Alexiou, Athens, 2007.

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