Interview with Akis Goumas

Interview  /  Artists   BehindTheScenes
Published: 29.03.2016
Interview with Akis Goumas.
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Akis Goumas. Brooch: Remnants and thoughts, 2015. Silver, steel, threads, Mixed techniques, pigments.. From series: Spirit of a symposium. Akis Goumas
Brooch: Remnants and thoughts, 2015
Silver, steel, threads, Mixed techniques, pigments.
From series: Spirit of a symposium
© By the author. Read Copyright.

After many hours of thinking, sketching and working, there comes a bright period, when things come out easily. The pieces join together like a puzzle.
Do you think jewelry is being standardized? What is there of local and universal in your artistic work?
We live in an era that is characterized by an overwhelming amount of information that spreads throughout the world with incredible speed, uniting/combining cultures and societies.
Although there is a kind of system that creates strong role models, standards that are there to be followed and imitated, the contemporary jewelry platform is open to collectiveness, versatility of exchange, and communication.
Due to the above, I do not believe that there such a risk for jewelry to be standardized.
My personal view is that although my works communicate with a large international audience, still, my culture’s characteristics are deep within.

What do you expect when exposing your work to the public (for example with an exhibition)?
The process of preparing work for an exhibition is a multi-task procedure, demanding time, energy and exposing emotions.
Expecting a response from the audience is reasonable; however I am more interested in opening a dialogue. Perceiving the narrative present in my work is not my intention, I would rather wish for the audience to take cues and to write their own stories.

Are there other areas besides the jewelry present in your work?
Parallel to jewelry making, I work in bigger dimensions, use hammered metals combined with wood, I weave organic sculptural forms with mixed materials, and I study prehistoric technology (collaborating with a group of archaeologists). I feel that all these activities interact with each other and are present in my jewelry work.

The last work, book, film, city that has moved me was…
This year I had the opportunity to participate in a creative workshop for people that are blind or visually impaired, at the Benaki Museum (Athens, Greece). Our aim was to help the group understand and connect with the museum’s jewelry collections through the other senses ( For example: The physical process of actually making the jewelry, the sense of touch, the sound elements produced when the pieces are used and worn, etc.) 

A place, space, country whose creativity surprises me…
Everyday life is always full of creative surprises, as is a lonely walk in the forest, and the time I spent in the store rooms of the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, studying material from several excavations.
I study old civilization remnants, that even though they have time engraved on their surfaces, they are surprisingly, so contemporary.

Akis Goumas
Necklace: Spirits of a Symposium, remnants of red wine, 2015
Silver, copper steel, PVC, mixed techniques, pigments
14 x 5.5 x 32 cm
Photo by: S. Kazaglis
Awarded at: Gioielli In ...Fermento 2015​

Is there any designer, jeweler, artist, you appreciate a lot?
There are many artists that I admire and have influenced my artistic path. Among them I can refer the names of Paul Klee, Tone Vigeland, Heikki Seppa and others. Also, I feel gratitude towards: the ancient craftsmen, who have taught me through their work, and towards the traditional Greek craftsmen from the Stemnitsa village, Lampis  Catsoulis ( who spent time with me, talking about life and jewelry during a cold winter, by the fire).

What piece of work has given you the most satisfaction?
After many hours of thinking, sketching and working, there comes a bright period, when things come out easily. The pieces join together like a puzzle. It is the moment that I feel myself united with the idea and the jewels. The best pieces come during this period, with a feeling of great satisfaction.

Do you read Jewelry magazines? What is your source to get information?
Most of the information now is on the internet, magazines, books, articles, and blogs. I mostly I read your newsletters, AJF articles, , arts and crafts magazine etc.

Do you discuss your work with other jewelry artists or any other person?
I like to talk about my work mostly when it is finished. I share it with my wife, who is a sculptor, with few of my students and with some jewelry artists and friends, with whom I communicate well .

What is your first thought when you hear the word Future? What do you expect for?
This is a difficult question for Greek people to answer during this period. I prefer to connect future with brightness and light. I expect something to change and I wait for the surprise to come.