I really like intimate exhibition spaces!

Small spaces attract much attention, especially if they are great (if I may say so) and at the gallery entry and exit point like the Vestibule at Queenscliff Gallery (QG).

I finally decided it was time to send Endurance out into the world. I’m working on a new body of work and feel a few of my self-portraits can finally face the world.

A Soula hang in QG Vestibule
Soula Mantalvanos Endurance 50 x 38cm acrylic on linen $2,850 f

After a few touch-ups, I also re-introduced Hare’s Secret Keys. Both works incorporate the Fornasetti wallpaper that I live with and love and my two marionettes.

Both paintings depict my love for design and my daily frustration with invisible illness and its impact on my independence. I still can’t just get up and go without much planning, preparation in the days before, and caution in the days after.

I’m locked in, but if I’m to paint keys, they have to be gold, a link to my Cypriot Byzantine heritage.

And still, I can’t drive; even being a passenger is impacting. Everything I do has a measurable impact on my body, so I’ll be in pain – especially at night, fatigued, experiencing neuropathy in my hands and feet, and then there’s the impact on pelvic function – let’s not go there.

And please, if you’re going to hug me, take your jingle jangle jewellery and keys away from my ears and squeal away from my ears!!

Insane, right? All invisible!

All the items in Hare’s Secret Keys are either from my Mum, Grandmother or mother-in-law, and the clocks and hourglasses are, of course, objects to depict time passing as I sit still.

Despite the frustration depicted in the paintings that I deal with every day, my paintings are happy.

The greenery reflects our bedroom wallpaper and the metres of bay trees in our garden framed by our huge living room windows – so nourishing and rejuvenating. Seriously, I feel I could make endless paintings of just these leaves.

Both paintings and all my work are available for purchase from QG. Talk to Theo; payment options are available.

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