Meet: Nia Hefe Filiogianni
After graduating with a BA (Hons) in Visual Arts (Minor Art History) from DEREE, The American College of Greece in 2014, Nia came to London to pursue her MA at Central Saint Martins (CSM) in Communication Design.
Since graduating, Nia is continuing to work her own artistic practice, she is also the founder and artistic director of an art platform called CREAM Athens which organises exhibitions around London. She does all this while working for the UAL brand team!
How did you find the course? What did you find most challenging? And how did you overcome it?
The course was really interesting as we had a lot of discussions with other students about our projects. I was able to receive individual feedback from the 40 students on my course, as well as my tutors who were really supportive.
I think the most important thing when you study is to be active, not focus only on your project but have your eyes and ears open and try to get involved in as many projects as you can. I really enjoyed my time at CSM, but the part I loved the most was working on so many interesting projects. My favourite was the LVMH sustainability project, which gave me the opportunity to travel to Paris and work at LVMH with the most talented employees of Louis Vuitton, Kenzo and Moet. As the course representative for EU students I was able to help students settle but also express their concerns and search for solutions on issues that had to do with the course. I took part in many exhibitions and events through UAL by hosting workshops in the Royal Academy and the British Museum and more. I also had the opportunity to curate my final show at the Lethaby gallery and organise 15 workshops for public engagement, as well as being a member of the design team for all the communication materials that were produced for the exhibition. Our show was so successful that I decided to work on my own collective and start organising shows and exhibitions after I graduated.
What have you been doing since you graduated?
I have been working on my artistic practice, I have my own platform CREAM Athens and I am also in the lucky position to be working for the brand team at UAL.
Cream Athens organises exhibitions, workshops and meet ups in central London to support emerging artists to collaborate and gain exposure. Cream Athens was founded in Greece and its aim is to create a bridge between Athens and London by promoting Greek artists. Unlike other art platforms, Cream Athens not only celebrates emerging art, but acts as a collective melting pot, drawing creatives from around the world, to be featured recently at CNN Greece, Vogue and Hot Sauce Magazine. Empowerment through art and visual pleasure are the key elements of our aesthetic. Through this ethos, Cream Athens harnesses the power of art, to excite and to awaken.
In 2017, we organised a series of monthly creative meet ups in central London which brought together members from across of our multidisciplinary creative community, inviting guest participation which further ushered in a new, and dynamic discursive platform, establishing a network for the exchange of ideas. This organic growth led the way to a successful debut London exhibition in June 2018 entitled: ‘The Neoprotofeminist show’ in collaboration with Creative Debuts. This exhibition showcased 15 artists, with 70% to be UAL students and graduates.
This year, in collaboration with the Coningsby gallery we just completed another exhibition called 'Whipped' which was focused on current world issues, including Brexit. Inspired by Cream’s origin in Athens, and the Ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus saying ‘‘everything is in a state of becoming” or in other words “Ta panta rhei”. Heraclitus was the first writer to speak about the fluid nature of things. He proclaimed - “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man”.
This exhibition opened on the 3rd of July at the Coningsby Gallery (Goodge street) and enabled 23 emerging artists (most of whom are UAL students and graduates) from all over the world to showcase their work to new audiences. The exhibition attracted a big number of visitors and was free to visit, which made the show accessible to everyone. Except the 30 unique pieces of art, the show was full of events and workshops that embraced interaction and creativity.
We are also really proud to be sponsored by UAL Students Union, Cass Art, Panopus printing, Great Art, Fix Hellas, Otto’s Athenian Vermout and Hot Sauce magazine.
Alex Jones, Artemis Vergou, Camila Gonzalez Corea, Christina Anagnostou, Dimitris Ntokos, Elliot Avis, Emily Gaki, Eve De Haan, Fungai Marima, George Petsikopoulos, Henry Glover, Huang Chiachia, Irini Bachlitzanaki, John Valyrakis, Lauren Fejarang, Mara Kallinikou, Maria Kalaoglou, Neo Gilder, Nia Hefe Filiogianni, Odysseas Glykas, Pao Leng Kung, Sam Creasey and Samantha Rosewald.