Avalon of the Heart is a book by British occultist and ceremonial magician Dione Fortune. The book refers to Glastonbury as a mythical place of transcendental experiences and spiritual encounters. Discovering where the heart resides, the writer develops a love affair with the landscape and its emotional counterparts.
The artists Amalia Vekri and Valinia Svoronou create an imaginary environment at P.E.T. Projects, using the Avalon of the Heart as a metaphor for an activated space.
The viewer travels through narratives of female identifying characters elevating themselves into super heroes through the use of potions, and ritual; while listening to old love songs, they groom as preparation to unveil a mysterious encounter. As a place inhabited by the heart, that is only revealed to its lovers / mystics, the Avalon is not a literal spatial manifestation but rather the nucleus of an ethereal atmosphere; an enchanting experience similar in nature to the ephemeral essence of an extraordinary perfume. The set up of the works alludes to bodily female desires and anxieties, simultaneously longing for spiritual transcendence. Through the interplay of their works, the artists aim to invoke and reconfigure the legendary environment of the Avalon of the Heart, oscillating between references to new age, popular culture, storytelling and the overpowering construct of romanticism in a contemporary technological landscape.
Vekri and Svoronou’s installation comprising of paintings, sculptures, digital prints, sound and light, invites the audience to confront their internal dialogue, where one meets the heart and by extension the internalised lover.
Once the Avalon is activated, your other half is just around the corner.
During the exhibition, a series of participatory performances will take place resembling a blind date, utilizing the installation itself as a working set. These performances will be formed by invited small groups.
The P.E.T. Treat display serves as an invitation, found meditation and daily positive affirmation for passers by. Perfumes travel across time and space re-affirming events and evoking memories, sending a message. This message can be a trigger for a long lost encounter or for a new one to begin.
Amalia Vekri’s work explores alternative portraitures of the female body, the ways it is presented and represented. Her practise negotiates narratives around control over the natural wearing down (body, spirit, environment), but it also looks at how our digitalized era affects the current trends related to ones appearance and well – being status. The super natural bodies in her work are trying to overcome their destructible nature and enter a timeless existence.
Valinia Svoronou’s practice aims to explore cultural and technological movements within human history from a perspective of subjectivity and storytelling. She works with text, moving image, publications and sculptures to investigate the various metaphors found, when known narratives are told by a feminine perspective, to create possibilities for the re-imagination of an empowering future or a different past.
Both of the artists are fascinated by the affective tools that have been used in the past in science fiction, subculture, myths and mystical narratives, as modes of a rich representation of these stories which heavily inform their work.