Space Tales

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Axonometric, Colour, Students

Space Tales

Vasiliki Bakavou

Project

Space tales is an illustration series of living fragments as a result of my constantly changing vision of a perfect interior space. Rather than illustrating a structure as it is, I’ve started to recreate domestic spaces giving an unreal /surreal little story as an alternative perspective and narrative. My images portray living environments or abstract rooms that seem both accessible and in reach, even though they have some dreamy and unusual elements. For example in BATH TALES image, a typical bathroom interior can be transformed to a bath garden with tropical plants, piscine and fantastical staircases for escape emergencies. And all these elements sit within patterned and gridded background walls adding a feeling of ambiguity to the final image. Finally, each of my illustrations try to prompt the viewer to distinguish what could be real and what could not.

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Bath Tales

Interview

From where did you draw your references for this specific project?

Actually for this series of illustration my basic source of inspiration is spaces that I have lived/visited or spaces that I wish existed. So when I visited/saw a space that is interesting for me, I sketched it right on the spot keeping my favourite elements and then I started recreating it with my imagination. In order to support my memory and design dreamy scenes I add fantastical objects, shapes and geometries. Usually, I draw references from photos, illustrations or drawings that intriguing me from Pinterest. There are like a hundred of artists including illustrators, photographers and other creatives who I admire and who I learn from by observing their approach. Moreover, I like to be alert to life itself, be very observant and have a broad sense of understanding of world. I love botanical gardens, mysterious courtyards, beautiful tiled floors, bohemian rooftops small, magical balconies and so on.

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What sparked your interest for the exploration of the fake vs real? What do these two notions mean in relation to the already fictional concept of the ‘Tale’?

Remember the feeling when you’ve come in from job and your head is a jungle, your eyes are red from the computer and your toes are numb, but then a bathtub filled with hot water, a warm sense of fire or a cozy place to lie down just relaxes you in the dreamiest way ever?

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That’s how I started to imagine these spaces. Every time I had a specific mood I started to think the ideal space that would soothe my feelings. For example COUNTRY TALES image depicts a beloved home in village that I used to visit and I have so many memories from. At first, I started to draw the real objects like the fireplace, the hanging clothes over the fire, the teakettle and the floor rugs. Because of the cozy atmosphere I always wished I could have a bed near the fireplace so I found a dreamy and a more theatrically way to include the bed in this space. Then, I enriched my image with other imaginary details such as traditional furniture or decorative objects. In the end I had created an interior which is real, but many things in it were not true or they represented something I wanted to have. Eventually, each of my images tell a story where the boundaries between real and fake are really difficult to be seen.

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Country tales

You explore each through an isometric/axonometric projection, why so?

Big part of my illustrations are drawn with an isometric or axonometric view and this comes obviously from the fact of being an architect and always love this kind of representation. As I have mentioned in my previous interview axonometric drawings are always very clear, tidy and effective. Moreover, through axonometric I can explore the space in a more technical way concerns the scale or the shape of it and it makes me understand better the needed interventions that will transform a typical space.

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What defined the absence of individual which inhabit these spaces?

I think that the human silhouettes used in most illustrations only to give a sense of scale. When I draw spaces I ideally like to know the person who owns or inhibits the space so that I can add in personal details, like their favourite books, food, clothes etc. However, I avoid depicting humans in my images allowing the viewer to imagine the person who could live there. It is important to me not to explain everything in my illustrations but let the viewer figure it and come to their own conclusions.

Why do you solely explore the interior and not the exterior?

The core difference between interior and exterior space is in the volume of spaces. Interior is by definition a space  that is limited with visual barriers – it could be very large- but it will be limited. Exterior on the other hand is like interior with some/most of barriers removed . Both exterior and interior spaces will create environments, but interiors are  much more controllable environments, because you have a limited “stage” size. I’m more interested to illustrate spaces that try to blur the line between interior and exterior space. I love to bring in my spaces the exterior atmosphere adding tropical trees and plants, big windows with view , moments of sky’s colour on the roof or water elements. I believe that exterior elements add a peaceful feeling in an interior space.

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What is the effect and purpose of the square format?

The square format has nothing specific purpose than the freedom to share my work on social media without worrying about cropping. I want to share my work on Instagram clearly and someone who want to see my profile can easily recognize my work and style. Nevertheless, square format is also great for putting a strong emphasis on one central subject that takes up the entire visual weight of the image.

Do you imagine creating a unique whole ‘Tale’ where all of these units then combine’ what would this imply?

That’s a really cool idea! I have never thought the idea of a whole TALE because I think all these spaces are so different between them. However, I believe that atlas of Tales is more representative way to combine my units as each represent different ‘’domestic’’ needs and I hope they evoke different emotions. This atlas will be like a domestic guide.

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From the last publication on KooZA/rch how and to what extent has your approach to the ‘domestic’ changed?

My last publication was the starting point for this work. Typologies is an architectural exploration about minimal domestic space in a more technical way. Space Tales is more like art and this gives me the opportunity to imagine domestic spaces more free and discover how architecture can trigger emotions. For example in BREATH TALE illustration the glass roof does more than simply lift someone’s gaze to the sky, it also elevates the person, it exalts them and that’s why I called it breath tale. Using architectural qualities in a different way each time, I can create an architectural domestic journey where the narrative pushes and pulls at different emotions and brings different memories.

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About

Vasiliki is an architect and designer from Greece. Currently, She is currently working as an architect at a construction company. While having entered a number of international competitions with her friends, Athina & Natalia, hoping to continue this collaboration in the near future. Until now Vasiliki enjoys the split between architecture and illustration.

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