Dryades

Sophia Vari
Dryades, late 90
18 kt yellow gold and black marble ring
2 AP from an edition of 6
Signed and numbered

Dryades (Dryads) and Oreades (Oreads) were the nymphs of trees, groves, woodlands and mountain forests. They were the spirits of the oaks and pines, poplar and ash, apple and laurel.

All nymphs, whose number is almost infinite, may be divided into two great classes. The first class embraces those who must be regarded as a kind of inferior divinities, recognised in the worship of nature. The early Greeks saw in all the phenomena of ordinary nature some manifestation of the deity; springs, rivers, grottoes, trees, and mountains, all seemed to them fraught with life; and all were only the visible embodiments of so many divine agents. The salutary and beneficent powers of nature were thus personified, and regarded as so many divinities; and the sensations produced on man in the contemplation of nature, such as awe, terror, joy, delight, were ascribed to the agency of the various divinities of nature.

Sophia Vari’s work is a reflection of her multicultural upbringing, her artistic language is distinct and informed by a multiplicity of influences from Mayan, Egyptian, Olmec, and Cycladic traditions as well as Ancient and Baroque aesthetics. 

Vari’s sculptures have evolved through several stages in the last few decades. While her early work from the 1960s onwards was mostly figurative, in the 1980s, Vari began to employ rounded abstract forms that suggested the human body. Eventually she began incorporating planar and constructed forms into her work, and by the mid-1990s she had begun to apply colour to the surfaces of her dynamic sculptures. This use of colour contributes to the movement of Vari’s pieces, and her sculptural works, created both on a monumental scale and as table pieces, appear to move autonomously as the viewer walks around them. Her work across all media shares a certain playfulness and liveliness, with compositions in collage, watercolour and paint pushing into the realm of dimensional space. 

 

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