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Creative Matters with Sofia Athineou

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

Sofia Athineou is a full-time artist of Greek heritage, based in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Her practice is mainly in glass, a medium she sees as having many sensual and optical qualities.

Surrounded by the dramatic bush of Auckland’s west coast Waitakere Ranges, it’s easy to see the inspiration behind Sofia Athineou’s incredible glass sculptures. These pieces represent vitality through light, texture and colour and appear to blend into the ever-changing landscape. Elemental forces such as wind, fire and water and the constant movement and natural patterns of these elements are captured in her sculptures.

Sofia talks about how she adjusted to NZ life when she immigrated here at the age of 23 from Greece, how she became a full time artist after raising her children, the work she has exhibited at sculpture shows around Aotearoa NZ, the challenges she faces of living on a single artist income, pricing her work and the many hats she has to wear to keep the money coming in.

She takes us step by step through her glass casting process using open cast moulds and explains why she prefers not to polish her work.

Sofia's first glass work

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