From the series " My Ghosts" (1994)
Thodoros Papayannis has created an oeuvre in sculpture which is characterised by the co-existence of contemporary features of expression and features drawn from tradition; these bring to light both his technical skill and his background in theory. His sculpture is anthropocentric, with some deviations, such as the motif of the bird, which with its angular, but at the same time fluid, form, modelled abstractively, which recalls, to a certain degree, the models of Constantin Brancusi and Henry Moore.
During the course of his postgraduate studies in the new materials of modern sculpture at the École des Arts Appliquées et des Matiers d' Art (1981 - 1982) in Paris, after his graduation from the Athens School of Fine Arts, where he studied under Yannis Pappas, the artist developed one of the most interesting aspects of his work in which experimentation on the form in space dominates. Papayannis brings out an art which is monumental, larger than life, in which hieratic, emblematic, ritual figures - memories of a primitive, primordial art which was widespread throughout the Mediterranean. The stylised, dramatised individuals, consisting mainly of simplified geometrical shapes, and the colossal static trunks of the masses mutate the human figure into heroic warriors or a kind of apotropaic totem. The same monumental character is retained by his small-scale works in coloured clay of the 1990s in which forms inspired by folk tradition and classical antiquity are depicted.
The catastrophic damage done at the Polytechneio (Athens Technical University) during the 17 November anniversary of 1993, supplied and continues to supply the sculptor with an emotional charge, as well as with an unlimited quantity of charred remains, which he has used up to the present in his artistic creation.
The sculpture is a part of the series “My Ghosts”, mythical beings which have risen up from the ashes of the Polytechneio and he himself has called his “Ghosts”. With the charred wood from the right-hand wing of the Polytechneio serving as a backbone, he produced this scarecrow – among others – savage bent figure which stand like sentries to protect what has remained of this learning.
This scarecrow take the symbolic form of the benefactors of Metsovo, who supported culture and education in Greece by their generosity.