eins gallery, Limassol
eins gallery presents On earth we are briefly eternal, a solo exhibition by Leontios Toumpouris. For Art-o-rama, Toumpouris produced new sculptures that expand his on-going interest in matter and body correlations to include associations with land.
Throughout 2021, Toumpouris was filming his intimate process of experiencing the landscape of Cyprus; a geological haven, is barren and yellow in the perpetually prolonged summertime, lush and green during the swift winters. While filming, he would utter and enunciate short mantras of his motional and emotional somatic encounters:
“We are static. We are mutable, fragile and prone to changes.”
“We are ephemera.
The stratum is telling us we are ephemeral.”
A series of screen prints on paper sharing these mantras are encased in fused glass, disfiguring their language. The pigments used include collected grinded ores in umber and ochre – prominent colours of the Cypriot landscape, as well as calcium bentonite clay – a healing clay that Toumpouris incorporates in his ceramics since 2018.
A metal column structure holds a series of ceramic reliefs that contain grinded ores and bentonite clay. They depict vocal cords in different instances of pronouncing the same mantras out loud, shifting erratically like the sun-baked land and following the mutations of our own matter.
Toumpouris’ intricate treatment of clay over the years resulted in an open-ended choreography of hand gestures. Tableaux vivants of these embodied rituals are transformed into free-standing works made of stained glass and metal, signalling the worship of land and creating a new vocabulary to connect with the landscape.