Born in Zimbabwe to Greek parents, Helen Lieros’ artistic practice has been driven by the exploration of her identity, bringing forth multiple themes that materialise through her painting. Throughout the ‘70s, a period of international sanctions against then-Rhodesia, present-day Zimbabwe, Lieros researched and created her own materials. The emotional labour of this period dominates Lieros’ work. Her sister and mother’s early passing heavily contributed to the artist’s angst and pain as well as the war of liberation. Lieros’ use of oil on canvas moved to marouflage while her affection for graphite and ink led to etching. Eyesight impairment from macular degeneration has pushed Lieros to explore and work with more abstract elements.
From 1996 to 2013, Lieros painted large murals across the walls and domes of a Greek Orthodox cathedral in Maputo. Depicting her faith and her love for Africa, the artist broke the rigid forms typically found in Byzantine iconography with movement and more local elements. This project is documented in Mural Paintings of Helen Lieros (2015). Lieros has participated in numerous group exhibitions and held several solo exhibitions, with her work having been collected globally, including in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare; Museum of African Arts, Paris; Wifredo Lam Centre, Havana, among others.