Mary Papaconstantinou was born in 1933 in the Greek island of Chios, legendary birthplace of Homer, father of the epic stories of the Iliad and the Odyssey. Her talent became apparent very early. According to an anecdote, she herself has revealed, when she was a little girl, one Spring day it rained for a while. When the sky cleared, children left their houses to go and play in the mud. Little Mary began making figures of little animals, like the other children. Soon the children’s creations where forgotten, lying around, as it happens. The sun dried the clay figures and the ones made by Mary stood out. The other children began asking Mary to make more and more of these beautiful, little toys. The rest, as they say, is history and in Mary’s case, national and international Art History.
Supported by her broad minded mother, Mary Papaconstantinou, left Chios, in order to study sculpture in the University School of Fine Arts, in Athens with teachers such as Yannis Moralis, one of the most prominent figures of Greek modern art. She continued her studies in the London Polytechnic School of Fine Arts and broadened her artistic horizons, inspired by some great sculptors, like Henry Moore. Her work followed the paths of modernism, abstract expressionism, but soon found her own distinct voice, focusing often on subjects concerning Women. Heroines of ancient or folk legend, fighters for peace, war victims, or survivors, women as symbols of independence, courage and strength. Her works grace cities around Greece and the world, as well as many private collections. Just to name a few: “Aegean Seagull”, in the U.S. White House, monument for the Working Woman, in Athens, the five foot Mermaid of Chios, Dove of Peace, in Caracas, Venezuela, Themis ((Justice), in Brisbane, Australia, Message of Peace, in Brussels, Belgium et.c.
Her work, which continues until today, has won, numerous prestigious honours and awards, at home and abroad, and has been featured in a documentary by National Geographic.
According to her own words, “Peace brings culture and culture brings peace”.
All of us at Theana, considered it a true honour, that an artist of this caliber, allowed her work to be interpreted in designs and embroidery creations on fabric. When the artist saw the designs proposed by our team, she received them with enthusiasm, explaining that her work found a new life, a new way of retelling the story of women in a new medium.