Elevations, 2023, is a series of 1:1 scale drawings of doors encountered by Nik Pantazopoulos throughout his life. Depicting egress to unseen spaces, as well as entrances demarcating public and private experience, they link memories of the artist’s psychosexual development, Greek migrant upbringing, and creative interest in the notion of ‘desire’ embedded within the built environment.
The project had its genesis in Melbourne’s protracted lockdown in 2020–21 when Pantazopoulos began to consider re-imaging objects without a camera or computer – how he could use his body rather than a machine to make art – and how we image the uncapturable. Pantazopoulos began drawing with graphite and pencils as a durational experience, working on a vertical plane, and sketching, colouring and making notes and references in the margins while remembering the doors as events that had happened rather than objects separate from these memories.
For Pantazopoulos, the door represents many markers of otherness – sexuality, class, race and religion – but also indicates shared symbolism of transition, metamorphosis, beginnings and ends. The real and imagined architectural spaces include those found in his family home, a local church and school, and in formative areas in the public realm related to the artist’s psychological and sexual development.