Award Holders 2022/23

Andro Semeiko

Abbey Fellow 2022/23

Research in Rome will contribute to my new work on the topic “Ruins of Empires”. I draw on this theme from my personal experience of the fall of the Soviet Union and the Soviet Republic of Georgia; understanding the pain and emotional trauma from the socio-political and urban collapse and ruins.

In Rome I am interested in exploring the ruins of the Roman Empire and its depiction by various artist over the centuries. I am interested in looking at depictions that use theatrical and trompe l'oeil representational techniques such as optical correction, forced perspective, quadrature effect, and others.

These methods often represent the ruins in romanticised and picturesque ways that mask the pain of human suffering inherent in any collapse. However, the same methods can produce invaluable images, such as for example those of the ruins by Piranesi, which provide detailed documentation of history; charged with a sense of brooding melancholy that act as a warning from a turbulent past; and with imaginative perspectival dramatization that continues to inspire future artists and architects. Exploring these methods of depictions will be extremely useful for my new project.

I will apply the above research, methods and inspiration from Rome and the British School at Rome for creating an ambitious new body of work that will involve large-scale paintings, murals, freestanding paintings on transparent silk, film and audio work. I will be coalescing architectural motifs of Roman and Soviet ruins and of various other empires. The architectural motifs, colours, shapes, historical texts, poetry, light and sound will create a kind of multi-dimensional painting, which the viewer will be able to enter.


Procession, Oil and acrylic on canvas


The Writer, Oil on silk chiffon