Χαρά – the Greek word for Joy, a feeling of delight.

I am a second-generation, Greek-Australian artist living in Naarm. My ceramic practice utilises a combination of walking and play to get into creative flow states for idea generation and mark making; using clay as an expressive medium that connects my mind, body, and memory to the environment, and acts as a method of response to the world around me. The vessels that I make hold memories, have historical and cultural agency, and elicit emotional connection. I am interested in the psychological benefits that objects have and how they give voice to storytelling. 

My final series of work is entitled To carry a piece of happiness.  

χαρά the Greek word for joy, a feeling of delight.  

There is a poetic saying that likens owning a ceramic moon jar to carrying a piece of happiness. After enduring a couple of tumultuous years, I was inspired to create a vessel that could bring joy and give purpose and focus to my ceramic research. When I hold a moon jar, their rounded organic body feels comfortable fitting into the curve of my arms and the groove of my hip, their texture and weight feels somewhat ‘right’. They affect memories of carrying and embracing my children when they were younger, a haptic recall of maternal holding that makes me feel happy. 

Play is my preferred method for experimentation where there is no fear of pushing the materiality of the different clay bodies, just a question of ‘what ifs?’  British process anthropologist Tim Ingold has influenced this process, as I embrace surface treatment on my vessels using spontaneous mark making, textural imprints and material inclusion such as rice, steel mesh, vermiculite and fabric. I am inspired by my observations and interactions with nature during my walks, and the resulting imperfect surfaces of my vessels can be viewed as a different kind of beauty, unique, inimitable as is the natural environment, and a nod to the acceptance of imperfection.  


Two ceramic moon jars placed on a white backdrop/paper, one jar held by the artist, with a hand either side of the jar.
Stella Kyriakou, ‘Holding’, 2023, stoneware clay, porcelain slip, blue stain, wheel thrown, hand joined, texture, abstract markings
Greenware, unfired moon jar standing on kiln props in the kiln room at RMIT.
Stella Kyriakou, ‘Moon Jar’, 2023, stoneware clay, porcelain slip, blue stain, abstract markings
Kiln packed with moon jars, cones on the shelf, gas kiln, ready to be fired.
Stella Kyriakou, ‘Packed Kiln’, 2023, gas kiln packed for firing, pyrometric cones, stoneware clay, terracotta clay, blue stain, abstract markings, combustible materials – rice, vermiculite, steel mesh, fabric
Grouping of vessels placed on the studio shelf. Scale, markings, forms and clay varied.
Stella Kyriakou, ‘Containing Joy’, 2023, stoneware clay, terracotta clay, combustible materials, porcelain slip, blue stain, abstract markings and texture


instagram: @dinosaursandbiscuits


, , ,
Stella Kyriakou