Prior to the opening of Yorgos Sapountzis: The Protagonists at Arnolfini, Maz Shar spoke to him about his work following Young Arnolfini’s collaboration with this Greek artist and performer. You can find a pullout of some of the work in the YA zine which was launched last Friday.
Where did it all begin for you, with getting involved in art and sculpting? What influenced you and made you think ‘This is what I want to do for the rest of my life?’
It started really early – since I was a child. When they asked me what I wanted to be, I would say I wanted to be a painter. I was from a family that didn’t have anything to do with art, so it was a very funny answer to say that to my family. When I was young, I was drawing and painting a lot and it seems to be that this has never stopped. It was a world that I had always paralleled with school and everything that I was doing. And it was also about expressing myself more clearly because I couldn’t read and write very well because I have dyslexia. So trying to put everything on paper with drawings and paintings was always a way to express myself. There was a moment when I was afraid to continue it. I was afraid because everybody was saying: ‘This is not a job; this is not a real thing; you cannot do that, you have to find a real job.’ I finished school and went to study art restoration. I said ‘Okay, I cannot be an artist because it is nothing to be an artist: I’ll do something next to art.’ The time I was there, I was feeling really sad and I said ‘I don’t want to be next to art, I want to make art.’ I quit and went to art school.
Young Arnolfini is a collective of local art enthusiasts aged from 16 - 25 working, learning and living in Bristol. We aim to provide a cultural forum through our workshops, blogging and live events to bridge the gap between young people and Bristol's bustling art scene.