Kareena Zerefos is a Sydney born, London-based artist and self-confessed daydreamer who collects fine bone china tea sets, but prefers to drink coffee. Twenty-eight year old Zerefos has an unhealthy obsession with dangerously sharp 2B pencils…and her pencils, along with a yearning to escape to a world of make-believe, lead her to create whimsical illustrative work…she loves the word ‘elephant’, her Italian greyhound called Pelle and visiting natural history museums.
Zerefos’s artwork deals with the human condition and its polarity of isolation and companionship. A yearning and delight that is found in long lost moments of escape, Zerefos brings to life whimsically this illusory and haunting world. With a background in design, graduating from the College of Fine Arts in 2005, Kareena works using a variety of media, including pencil, gouache and tea, and often combines traditional drawing with contemporary digital graphic techniques. Unique and refreshing in its simplicity, her work often captures children in poignant, reflective moments…mysterious giants and fragile creatures also populate these shadowy worlds, like the curious owl, who simply says ‘hello’, or the deer alone in the silent woods.
The artist has exhibited in numerous group shows across Australia. Zerefos is represented by Libby Edwards Galleries and will hold her first solo show there in October 2012. She is also involved in commercial illustration projects for the music, fashion and advertising industries.
“Through my work I aim to evoke the delicate balance between isolation and companionship, as well as yearning and delight in long lost moments of escape to an imaginary world I am inspired by pieces of nostalgia; my collection of old super-8 footage (from my dad’s childhood in rural NSW), vintage postcards, children’s books and delicate fine bone china tea sets. From these I piece together my own little worlds in a delicate and bittersweet illustrative style, which adopts principals from my design background…my recent work portraying children wearing animal costumes and masks were an exploration of the simplicity and creativity taken from my idealised memories of childhood. However I have become increasingly interested in the subtlety of the poses and expression, the shyness and almost fearful look in the eyes… and the curiosity and a slight sense of longing…” Kareena Zerefos