BY Alexia Amvrazi

| Apr 04, 2016


The Out-of-Towners: Navine G. Khan-Dossos

Born and bred in London, compelling artist Navine Khan Dossos has made Athens her beloved home. She talks to us here just before the opening of her new exhibition, “Imagine A Palm Tree” at the Benaki Museum of Islamic Art in Thisseio.

Navine G. Khan-Dossos



Life status
Alive! And mostly painting.

Where in the world I am from
North London, born and bred. But lived in the Netherlands for the past year.

Rate Greece vs your homeland

Greece is certainly warmer than northern Europe! The sun and the blood make that difference. London and Greece have very distinct political and economic problems but there is something about the Greek way of talking about things that I appreciate so much more than the ‘keep calm and carry on’ attitude I’ve been surrounded by. I love being part of the debate, and finding my own political (and sometimes moral) compass spinning around and settling on new places.

I came here because…

I could work in a new setting, find new contexts for my art practice and challenge myself to make works on a different scale, more linked to public space. And with that comes a new audience with lots to say to engage with. I wanted to be able to paint every day and here I can afford to do that and get by.

I’ve fallen in love with…

Waking up to a blue sky through open curtains, pottering around on my balcony watering the plants, shopping in the markets and generally feeling the freshness of things rather than everything being polyurethane-wrapped or being behind double-glazing.

It makes me mad that…

I still haven’t managed to master the art of the late-night style Athens living. I just can’t get myself into eating past 9pm without hours of the tummy monster growling at me. And lunch… when does that happen exactly?

The most Greek thing that fits into my hand?

A fist-full of fresh crocus stems I collected walking around near Sounio, and dried out for home-made saffron. It was a remarkable discovery and a pleasure to cook.

If I knew then what I know now…
Just knuckle down and do an intensive Greek course before day-to-day life takes over. There is nothing worse than feeling outside of language. But I’m doing my best.


Rakor on the corner of Plataion and Granikou in Metaxourgeio for incredible veggie-friendly dishes and a vegan chocolate dessert to kill for.

watch the sun set:
The fifth floor of the Benaki Museum of Islamic Art in Keramikos.

party all night:
Galaxy Bar just off Stadiou for gin and tonics with a side of cheese and mustard.

Lake Vouliagmeni for temperature changes and free fish nibbling.

Platon on Geraniou for essential oils.

watch the world go by:
outside Ta Kanaria in Keramikos.

read peacefully:
Sundays over in the ruins of Plato’s Academy.

connect with Greek culture:
being out with Greek friends who show us new things all the time.

work out:
yoga at home or a long walk through town exploring new districts.

Sometimes just a walk up to the top of Lycabettus Hill gets me enough space away from the city when I need it. I love being able to hear it erupting below me.

feel like a local:
When I’m still in Galaxy Bar at 4.30am….