NICHOLAS GEORGOURAS (1946-2020)
“Art is the telling of truth; and is the only available method for the telling of certain truths.”
Iris Murdoch (The Black Prince)
Nicholas Georgouras was born in Sydney to a family of Greek immigrants. He was an exceptional cutter of surfboards as a boy living on Sydney’s beaches, and a brilliant cutter of hair as a young man living in 1970s London. By the time he turned to carving marble at the age of thirty, Georgouras’ ability to cut a line within a three-dimensional plane was luminous. From the beginning he was master at carving and invention.
Georgouras’ early influences as a sculptor were two 20th century French sculptors, Germaine Richier and Jean-Robert Ipousteguy, who both concentrated on the human form. However, his revelation came from Greece through reading Homer’s ‘Odysseus’ on Ithaka and meeting an old Greek sculptor, Aristides Minealadis, on Corfu. The first showed him another age where the individual emerged from a slavish adherence to authority, and the second showed him the freedom of carving stone by hand. In an age of abstraction, he embraced the figurative form so that his work would reflect his own perception of the world. Georgouras never shied from any theme that might cause affront to the puritanical or dogmatic. His work spoke to him and it emerged as an existing reality to be reckoned with.
Nicholas Georgouras, Sydney, 1981
Carving stone needs the deepest of patience. It is as elemental as the stone itself and cannot be hurried or repeated. To complete a piece can take months to years and is an immense act of endurance. In 2011 Georgouras was struck down by early-onset dementia. Although losing his ability to communicate, he continued to sculpt up until a year before his death. It was his last attachment to the earth. His works will stand long after this as a testament to this age.