Artist Statement

Born in Vereeniging, South Africa in 1969, Kleoniki Vanos’s life view has been affected by the experience of living in a country that went from one ruled by apartheid to a democratic post-apartheid society. Additionally, her Greek heritage has also influenced her philosophical approach to her work and life in general. Vanos uses the medium of photography to produce abstract images with a serene, meditative feel. Hers is a quest to try and capture the unconscious, as well as the representation of small moments of insights into the existential questions we all grapple with. Commenting on her approach to photography, Massimiliano Bisazza, curator for Statuto13 Gallery in Milan states that “a kind of spiritual enlightenment pervades the photographic work of Kleoniki Vanos. Ascension, transformation and awareness that the change inherent in all of us exists only if it is the result of a kind of acceptance, not passive but proactive and necessary part of every individual”. Vanos has participated in several national and international exhibitions, most notably having her work included as part of the Ultra Color Collection in the Fifth Annual Exposure Awards held at the Musee du Louvre, Paris, France in 2015.


I have ‘Enter Into Rest’ in my private collection. It is one of my favourite mirror montage pieces from Kleoniki’s Creation series — Josie Borain – South Africa.

Kleoniki was part of the documentation team at Tankwa Artscape Residency 2019, in the Tankwa Karoo, a semi-desert in South Africa. I have rarely met a photographer with such passion and work ethic — Leli Hoch, organiser of Tankwa Artscape Residency.

There are few unique artists around these days.  It was so refreshing to see Niki’s incredible artwork. Personal, moving and venerable.  Exceptional talent — Brett Florens – Netherlands. 

Your work is truly inspiring, something different and you always endeavour to grow in your creativity. You have such a passion for photography and your images are testimony thereof — Elsaine Costerus-Mohr – South Africa.

Kleoniki is a photographer who captures both reality and fiction in each photo she takes. The version we want to see and the version that remains untold. Whether it be a photo of a landscape, portrait or abstract she manages to bring something more to the final image than anyone could — Cleo Valjeux – South Africa.

Kleoniki is a versatile photographer with a special flair that shows in her work. Her attention to detail adds to this — Kirste Carpenter – South Africa.

Niki is a delightful, inspiring, professional and truly gifted photographer. What strikes me the most is her talent to capture and paint with movement and light, as seen in my favourite collections “Live and Proper” and “Journey of Miracles”, where her passion and eye for details shine through. As a proud owner of two of her artwork, I cannot recommend her enough — Mandy Carpenter – South Africa.