The connection between Frank Darabont’s film The Shawshank Redemption (1994) and the exhibition The Hawk Shank Redemption, started from a wordplay (Shawshank-Hawk Shank). However, more significant interconnections between the two works came to the surface. In the film, a young banker is condemned for a murder that he hadn’t commited and spends 19 extremely tough years in prison. In the end, he manages to escape by carving the stonewall of his cell room and creating a long tunnel. He also uses big posters of his favorite actresses (such as Rita Hayworth) to cover up the entrance to this tunnel. It is a film about so many timeless and important social issues; such as the corruption and hypocrisy of authority, power games, the dysfunctional prison system and the difficulties prisoners have reintegrating into society. On the other hand, the film is a homage to the power of friendship, freedom and the magnitude of having hope and dreaming. Indeed, all these seem to be the tools that can lead to absolute personal fulfillment. Elissavet Sfyri, is exploring the notion of this fulfillment
and liberation throughout this exhibition. The artist usually has to deal with considerable challenges. Professional networking plays such a big role in the progress of the work career that it actually sometimes restricts genuine artistic inspiration and expression. Similarly, we are all requested to play social roles in order to survive within the society. Living outside social circles looks inevitable, just like the utopian world that the prisoner sees outside of his cage. The anthropomorphic hawks that take over ‘’Mimi’’ are hybrid creatures that also play their own roles, however, their surrealistic look gives hope for a more liberated world. The background in the paintings reminds us of dark cell rooms, where each hawk plays its personal performance. Despite the dark element of these paintings, the artist uses her own sense of humor. The hawks look extra powerful considering their double nature. Liberated from their bird legs, they have the ability to be grounded to the earth and fly at the same time. The lush plumage looks like fancy costumes worn for a special social gathering or a night out. They are all surrounding and staring at the visitors while inviting them to join them in one more public performance.