Manuscript or Woman and tree, 1980
Following lengthy studies at the École Cantonale de Dessin et d' Art Appliqué of Lausanne, the Athens School of Fine Arts, and the Central School of Arts and Design in London, Kanagini embarked on her artistic career from absolute abstraction, which, however, she soon abandoned. Using the most diverse materials - cement, clay, leather, metals, plastics, glass, chalk, rope, threads, pieces of old used packing materials, and sometimes copies from museums - she transformed everyday routine into an art event, creating three-dimensional landscapes in which painting is combined with the objects which accompany the picture. With her aim as an expression of her opposition to the degradation of everyday life, and, at the same time, of a demand for its amelioration, she arrived at a symbolic surrealism. Writing has also been of concern to her as a means of conceiving and recording human thought, a concern which has been expressed by the series 'Manuscripts', creations of art which carry discourse back to its archetypal form, as an expression of the concept of communication.
Manuscript or Woman and Tree, which is dated 1980, is among the early works in the 'Manuscripts' series. The morphology of writing, rather than some specific text, the word, the letter as a linguistic unit fascinate Kanagini, and provided the viewer with a stimulus for personal interpretations. By placing the female figure in front of the images of letters, which are here rendered in an almost gestural fashion, as they fill the upper part of the white background in a disorderly manner, she urges him/her to 'read', to reflect, to follow his/her own individual orbit. Even the colour range in the work, with the use of only black, white, and grey, makes reference to the image of writing.