Panayiotis Kalorkoti

Still, 1992
56.5x76.2cm (sheet), 39x55cm (imp.), Edition of 10
about this collection Click image to enlarge



This collection of work is the culmination of a residency in 1992 [1-483]. Panayiotis Kalorkoti was commissioned by Cleveland County Council to portray and interpret the services provided for the people of Cleveland, by the County.


The initial idea for the residency developed from discussions between several groups within the Council: Libraries & Leisure, Cleveland Gallery, Public Relations Department and from Cleveland Arts. There was strong support which would go beyond simply documenting what takes place within the County, calling on the skill of the artist to observe and interpret.


Kalorkoti’s experience of residencies, and his particular style of working, made him well-equipped to undertake such a project. In earlier writing about the artist’s work, critics have made reference to the element of construction within his work, of Kalorkoti’s ability to combine information and commentary with effect.


The logistics of the initial work are impressive: Kalorkoti travelled extensively throughout the County. He attended a wide range of activities and situations in more than forty sections and departments of the council. The resultant work developed into the rich body of drawings and etchings.


The residency aims to make an important point, that services are about people – Kalorkoti’s ‘images of Cleveland’ are concerned with the individuals involved in all aspects of the County’s work – in Education, Social Services, Libraries and Leisure and in the Fire and Police Services.


The drawings display a deceptive simplicity of structure. One of the strengths of Kalorkoti’s work is that the image often goes no further than to portray the individual. Further information about environment and activity might be given by the figure’s dress or uniform. In many drawings, we are confronted only by the face of the individual and yet, the personality has been captured. In four drawings [41-44], the artist introduces us to faces which seem familiar.


Kalorkoti has organised the information which he wishes to convey and is sufficiently confident in his technique to do so through the most straightforward of means. He is an accomplished communicator, using visual language in a way which means information is often implied rather than stated.


We can explore this approach in the eight etchings, where Kalorkoti’s method of placing one image against the text, creates a multi-framed composition. In a work entitled ‘People’, the individual is juxtaposed against a map of Cleveland, thus placing the figure within the geographical location of the County. A second work, ‘Landscape’, brings several people engaged in various activities to the foreground of the work. A series of ‘gridlines’ connect the individuals with the buildings which form the horizon of the image.


Kalorkoti’s work is rich in information, but he decides how much to offer, so that as viewers we are not the passive recipients of this information, rather, we become involved in the process of interpretation.


Since the completion of the Cleveland residency, Kalorkoti has been concerned with the development of ideas and images from earlier work. The recent work, made in the artist’s studio, forms the second part of the publication (56-92).



Jane Warrilow

Exhibitions Officer, Cleveland Gallery