Born in Vereeniging, South Africa in 1969, Kleoniki Vanos’s life view has been affected by the experience of living in a country which went from one ruled by apartheid to a democratic post-apartheid society. Additionally, her Greek heritage has also influenced her philosophical approach to her work and to life in general.
Vanos uses the medium of photography to produce abstract images with a serene, meditative feel. Hers is a quest to try and capture the unconscious, as well as the representation of small moments of insights into the existential questions we all grapple with. Commenting on her approach to photography, Massimiliano Bisazza, curator for Statuto13 Gallery in Milan states that “a kind of spiritual enlightenment pervades the photographic work of Kleoniki Vanos. Ascension, transformation and awareness that the change inherent in all of us exists only if it is the result of a kind of acceptance, not passive but proactive and necessary part of every individual”.
In the collaborative exhibition entitled Bending Light (2016) with the glass sculptor Lothär Bottchar, the artists explored the various human reactions, both physical and philosophical, to light through the mediums of photography and glass sculpture. The Artklop Festival exhibition statement (2016) refers to her artistic practice in this instance as “… us[ing] light as a metaphorical brush, literally painting with light in her photographic images”. Vanos also states “that we can begin to expand our world view on light by considering light not only as a way to illuminate objects, but an object in itself; in the absence of light, an artwork becomes about “seeing”.
Vanos has participated in several national and international exhibitions, most notably having her work included as part of the Ultra Color Collection in the Fifth Annual Exposure Awards held at the Musee du Louvre, Paris, France in 2015.
1969, Vereeniging, South Africa
1990-1991 Photography – Vaal Triangle Techikon.
2017 Sasol New Signatures 2017 Art Exhibition, Pretoria Art Museum
2017 No Labels, Candice Berman Gallery, Bryanston, Johannesburg
2016 Bending Light, collaboration with Lothär Bottchar, curated by North-West University Botanical Garden Gallery
2016 Bending Light, ArtKlop, curated by North-West University, South Africa
2016 Kleoniki Vanos, Candice Berman Gallery, Bryanston, Johannesburg
2015 Soul Food, Statuto13 Gallery, Milan, Italy
2015 Group exhibition, Fifth Annual Exposure Exhibition, Louvre Museum, Paris, France
2015 Group exhibition, RomArt Biennale, Rome, Italy
2015 Affordable Art Fair of Milan, Italy, represented by Statuto13 Gallery, Milan
2014 Group exhibition, Art Takes Miami, United States
2014 Fourth Annual Joseph Miller Abstract Photographic Exhibition, Gainsville, United States
2014 Affordable Art Fair of Milan, Italy, represented by Statuto13 Gallery, Milan
2014 Fracture, Statuto13 Gallery, Milan, Italy
2013 Metamorphosis, Statuto13 Gallery, Milan, Italy
2013 Third Annual Joseph Miller Abstract Photographic Exhibition, Gainsville, United States
2012 Freedom, Da Vito’s Loft, Vereeniging, South Africa
2012 Fund Raiser for Katherine Robson Children’s Home, South Africa
2011 Under Construction, Emfuleni Gold Estate, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa
Joseph Miller Centre for Photographic Arts, Washington DC
2014 Special Merit Award, Fourth Annual Joseph Miller Abstract Photography Exhibit
2013 Special Merit Award, Third Annual Joseph Miller Abstract Photography Exhibit