Fire in the distance
From the end of the 1970s, Tonia Nikolaïdou began systematically to use mixed techniques, combining engraving on linoleum, silk screen, and, above all, the processing of the paper, in such a way as to create relief impressions in its texture.
In the group 'Sea, sand, and light' on 1979 she studied the differentiations of the summer light on the sand, thus creating for the first time a unified relief surface, with one or two traces which are reminiscent of human figures lying there, which alters constantly. This motif was used again in the groups 'Hot sand', of 1980 - 1982, and 'Dream of happiness' of 1983, in which the relief is differentiated in various ways, always occupying the greater part of the composition's surface. Vegetation in the Sand belongs to this group, while the addition of the landscape with the bushes in the background is evidence of the change in Nikolaïdou's thinking, as she now turned more towards the depiction of nature which is less at risk in the study of light on the landscape. An example of this interest is provided by the work Flames and Ashes, of 1987, which forms the seventh item in the series of the same title. In the works in this series, Nikolaïdou in her art follows a fire from the first flames in the evening to the dawn of the following day. The burnt tree stands out sharply against the totally black background, while the depths of the picture open up in terms of colour by means of the grey, to end in a more optimistic pink in the dawn of the next morning.