For his upcoming exhibition at Artbay Gallery Queenstown, Jimmy James Kouratoras pays homage to his Greek ancestry. Inspired by his travels to his Cretan homeland in the Mediterranean, including the ancient ruins of Knossos, his artworks are influenced by the Cretan pottery, specifically large-scale urns and vases that were used to preserve olives, oil and other perishables.

 

These vessels are over 5000 years old and at least five feet high, often made of local and intricately decorated with patterns, stories and motifs of the time. Along with these were smaller vessels that were used in ceremony and various rituals to honour the Greek gods and elements of nature. In this collection, Kouratoras focuses not just on what these vessels held but instead what they can offer us now: memories, guidance, healing, sustenance and more.

 

His collection of nine painting that showcases enormous vessels are all inscribed with incredible Māori detail and will offer an unparalleled experience for viewers into the cosmologies that have shaped his world.

 

Kouratoras (Ngati Tiipa, Tainui) first returned to Crete as a nine-year-old to spend a year with family and has since then returned regularly to his father‘s land.