Born into a Greek Cypriot refugee family, Andrea Tyrimos grew up in North London, looking at the work of Renaissance painters and making her own drawings. From an early age, Tyrimos saw painting as a form of meditation and therapy: something she would carry with her throughout her artistic career. After graduating from Central Saint Martins, she set up a project around the challenges of mental health, painting hyper realistic portraits of people experiencing mental health issues across the spectrum.
Tyrimos uses her portraits as “love letters to her sitters”, going beyond societal taboos and representing them as their complete, complex selves . Creating a safe space while painting, she records her open conversations with them. The recordings allow for a dialogue between paint and sound to enable further understanding, such as empathy and connectivity. Using small brushes and applying delicate multiple strokes, she uses her process as a practice of love and care. The mind being intangible and mental health not visual, Tyrimos project was a challenge for her figurative practice.
Aware of the importance of her subject matter, Tyrimos became an advocate for mental health issues and, as such, decided she needed to make her work public and widely accessible. An ally of mental health activists she aims to raise awareness by inviting passersby and viewers to pause, look and listen to the testimonies. By stripping the composition’s background to the bare minimum, Tyrimos invites us to face the essence of her sitters – which simultaneously allows for a way for them to feel heard. She aspires to change the narrative from shame to resilience. Shifting the conversation from wounded healing, Tyrimos exchanged her canvases for steel, embodying her message in the materiality of her practice.
Recently, during the Covid-19 pandemic, Tyrimos painted the portraits of essential workers and projected their faces in London’s Oxford Street, attempting to generate hope, gratefulness, and uplift viewers. Andrea Tyrimos’s work creates a virtuous circle of openness about mental health.
Selected Group Exhibitions
‘Young Masters’, The Exhibitionist Hotel, London, UK.
ING Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London, UK.
London Art Fair, London, UK.
‘Madame Figaro’, Monnaie de Paris, Paris, France.
‘Health and the Climate’; Ecological Emergency Exhibition, UCLH
Crossing the Liminal, Hampstead Garden Gallery, London, UK.
ING Discerning Eye exhibition, Mall Galleries, London
A Brave New World, UBP, Monaco, France.
ING Discerning Eye (1st Prize Winner), London, UK.
Mindscapes; a journey through mental health, Orleans House
Gallery, Richmond x MIND charity, London, UK.
‘HOPE’, Sook Spaces, London, UK.
The Shard, O2 Elevate, London, UK.
Vienna Calling II, Galerie Art Pool, Vienna, Austria.
‘Female Lenses for Art Activism’, MIA art collection.
Royal West of England Academy, London, UK.
Open Exhibition, Bristol, London, UK.
Elevate O2, The Shard, London, UK.
Oxo Tower Bargehouse, London, UK.
Ollie Quinn, Canary Wharf, London, UK.
Selected Solo Exhibitions, Installations and Public Art.
ING Bank, Moorgate, London, UK.
‘Lockdown Stories’, Saint James’s Market Pavilion, London, UK.
W1 Curates on Oxford Street, #LightItBlue Project, London, UK.
Centrepoint x Grand Central Rail, Collaboration launch, Halifax, UK.
‘Centrepoint Installation’, Oxo Tower Bargehouse, London, UK.
‘Mind Reposition’, Mortimer House, London, UK.
‘Bipolar Picasso’, 5th Base Gallery, London, UK.
‘LivingBox’, Public art installation, Holborn, London, UK.
‘Brick’, Public art installation, Pasley Park, London, UK.
‘The Roadz’, Curious Duke Gallery, London, UK.
‘The Hoxton’, Artist in Residence, London, UK.