George Sfougaras MBA NPQH
George Sfougaras was born in Greece of parents who were part of the Population Exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1922. The family came to the UK during the Greek Military Dictatorship, in the 70s. His work is in the permanent collection of the Leicester Museum and in private collections in Germany, Israel, Greece, Australia, Spain, USA and South Africa.
He has taught art, developed curriculum materials, used art as a tool for change within institutions and was most recently Headteacher of a school for young people facing physical, emotional and psychiatric challenges.
Since 2015 he has been able to focus exclusively on art, exploring issues of human migration, change and cultural inheritance using personal narratives and historical sources. He was joint winner of ‘Small Print International ‘2016 and Leicester Cank Street Open 2018. Winner of ‘Ideas on Paper’ Midlands Printers Open 2016 with a pre-1922 reconstructed map of the destroyed city of Smyrna. Shortlisted for the Freedom.org ‘Depicting Human Rights’ Washington DC, in 2017, for the print ‘Songs from my Father’. His work has been highly commended by Sock Gallery (2019) and Leicester Society of Artists (2020). He has created print based and multimedia installations, most recently (2021) at Leicester Museum, within the German Expressionist Gallery. His work is in the museum's permanent collection.
Academic Qualifications: BA (Hons) FA, PGCE (Distinction) ATD (Distinction) MBA Ed, AST (Advanced Skills Teacher) NPQH (Secondary Headteacher). Long Distance: Behavioural Genetics; Environmental Management.
Additional roles 2012-2013: Director WELL Trust, HT Governor, UK Lead Partner in LEHO (EU Hospital Schools Project), Member NAHSL. (National Association of Hospital School Leaders). ‘Mind Body and Spirit’ with Leicester University Museum Studies (AC Funding). How Museums Impact Health and Wellbeing.
George is the instigator of the Focus on Identity International Art Group in 2017 comprising 19 artists from 12 countries. The project website can be found here: www.focusonidentity.org
Cultural Geography and History are significant sources of inspiration as well as broader global events at the intersection of politics, geography, and religion. My work explores lost histories with the outcomes expressed as paintings, pen and ink drawings, prints or books.
Recent Projects and Exhibitions.
Journey’s Festival Gazette illustrations and text August 2022.
‘Other Side of Hope’ first publication, illustrations and text, March 2022.
July 2021 – January 2022 A large projection/installation of an animated book with selected parts of two illustrated publications by the artist: 'Tales from an Old Fort Town', which includes the poems of Shelley Tracy and 'One Winter's Night in Prague', which draws on the rich story telling tradition of Eastern Europe. Shown in several public settings including Leicester Museum and Green Dragon Square and in venues in Greece as well as online by several organisations. Accompanied by a musical composition in the form of a lamentation with oud and clarinet, created for the work by Israeli composer Gal Hever.
RBSA Print Exhibition entry ‘Poor man’s Treasure: Palestine’ Indian ink and Jasmine blossoms of wooden shards.
November 2021. A series of 'grown up' games, combining research on team dynamics within medical settings, philosophical thought, psychological theories and depending on the players' viewpoints, even mild entertainment. Upscaled and shown at the George Davies Centre of Medical Sciences, Leicester University from the end of November 2021 until April 2022.
July 2021. The multimedia installation Light in the Darkness created as a response to the fragments of the triptych 'Thou Shalt Not Kill' by Johannes Matthaeus Koelz, part of Leicester Museums & Galleries internationally acclaimed German Expressionism collection. It links the plight of refugees, past and present, to the horror and destruction of war. Running from July to September 2021. Also shown at Leicester Unitarian Chapel, Leicester.
August 2021 William Blake and the Book of Job. Residency program presentation and practical (remote due to covid restrictions) Haus Ohrbeck Osnabruck.
January 2020. The Bishop Guli Portrait: World Arts Gallery New Walk Museum, Leicester. Commissioned banner entitled 'Unwritten' displayed on the Sanctuary Wall in the main gallery. Talk concerning my drawing, the Knight, Death and the Devil, newly acquired as part of the permanent collection by Leicester Museum Trust.
January- February: Residency in Jerusalem. Editing of film and creation of work.
March: Commission for De Lisle College Loughborough. The Catholic Spirit of the College.
March: Working with students at Fermynwoods Centre, Northampton.
May 21st to September 1st: Recovered Histories Project, solo exhibition and work installed in public buildings, in collaboration with ArtReach, ROOTS Volunteer led consultative group, Leicester Museum, Leicester Cathedral, Leicester Museums, Leicester Print Workshop, City of Sanctuary. Arts Council Lottery funding and part funding by the National Portrait Gallery.
March: Residency in Crete: Memory Map of Jewish quarter of Chania Greece, commissioned by Etz Hayyim Synagogue, Crete. Combining the Jewish Archive personal stories to reconstruct and map the area, prior to 1941.
July 27th to August 5th, 2019, Artist in residence in Osnabruck, Germany. Art, Religion, and identity.
August 2019 Artist in residence Journeys Festival Leicester.
Selected as one of six Lead Artists by Webinart, Creative Leicestershire.
Antiphony Project exploring Romani culture, with composer Michael Cretu and printer Elizabeth Walker. November 2018.
Launch of book ‘Tales from an Old Fort Town’ A personal response to the Jewish History of Crete. October 2018. Funded by Etz Hayyim Synagogue.
Exhibition of ‘Tales from an Old Fort Town’ Etz Hayyim Synagogue Chania, Crete; summer 2018.
Journeys to Home Print exhibition Rugby Museum June to September 2018
Painting Prize Cank Street Open Leicester June 2018
Public Mural Heraklion Arts Festival, Crete, Greece. June-July 2018
Map of fortified Heraklion, Archipelago project, curated by Gabriel Vella, Malta Arts Festival, summer 2018.
Permanent installation of seven large printed murals at Rushey Mead Academy Leicester.
December 2017 Illustrations for Malka Al’ Haddad’s poetry collection ‘Birds without Sky’ as part of a collaboration with City of Sanctuary.
October 2017-January 2018 ‘Personal Maps’ Solo exhibition, Alexandria Library, Manchester.
September 2017 Works used to accompany 13 poems for the ‘Journeys in Translation’ project.
May 2017 Permanent installation of ‘In Memoriam’ illuminated panel painting (in partnership with Paul Rudman- Leicester University) at Neve Shalom Progressive Synagogue, Leicester.
March 2017 Commission for Digital Literary Atlas of Wales and its Borderlands, Cardiff University.
January 2017 Instigator of ‘Focusing on Identity’ project involving artists from 12 of countries.
Winner Small Print International
Illustrated ‘Unitarian Musical Incantations’
Solo Exhibition Northgate Studios Chester.
Finalist in Freedom.org "Capturing Human Rights". For Change.org, Washington DC.
Winner Nov. 2016 'Ideas-on-Paper’ Midland Printmakers Open.
November 2016 Work selected for Passion to Print, showing at LCB, Lightbox and Leicester Print Workshop.
January: Retired from teaching; full-time artist.
Prior to 2015 Headteacher of Leicester Hospital School, Partner of European Union LEHO Project working with Hospital schools across Europe.
Deputy Headteacher, St. Paul’s Catholic School
Various head of Faculty positions and senior management positions in secondary schools, including Head of Expressive Arts, Head of Art, Head of Raising Achievement Partnership, Advanced Skills Teacher, PGCE Distinction.