Artist Anastasia Seremetis colors her handmade gauze and paper works with coffee, tea and ink. By keeping the ingredients of her work simple, Seremetis makes room for the complex messages she incorporates in her art.

Seremetis' recent series, titled "VITA" on view at The Athenaeum, were inspired by the work of the Noble Prize-winning Greek poet, Odysseus Elytis. Elytis' poem "Axion Esti" (which translates to mean, worthy it is) intrigued Seremetis in its reflection of man's developing consciousness.

Elytis divided his poem into three parts: Genesis, the Passions and Gloria. Similarly "VITA" consists of three groups of works, Genesis, the Passions and Finis; 26 pieces make up the entire series. Seremetis has taken Elytis' abstract concepts and turned them into serene, soft images. Under each piece is a quote from the "Axion Esti." The resulting work evokes thought, sometimes pleasant and consistently mysterious.

Seremetis' interest in these inner patterns of life directs her approach to each piece of work. She recalls, "As I handled and manipulated the paper pulp floating in the tray, I perceived it was a live substance with natural affinities and physical laws of its own which could express the process of change."

For many of the pieces in the show, Seremetis allowed the pulp to take its own shape before transferring the bits of paper to beige gauze. She dyes the pulp with tea and coffee while it is in water, creating the predominant hues of brown that serve as the basis of each piece. The flecks of reds, blues, yellows and pools of dark black are then applied with inks.

By placing the gauze creations against a white paper backround, Seremetis' work takes on the look of a Rorschach test with its inkblot designs. In fact, the artist aspires to touch the subconscious. To the director of The Athenaeum, Betsy Mansmann, Seremetis' work brings to mind "memories of things that have not happened yet" and forgotten memories.

"VITA" continues at The Athenaeum in Alexandria through Oct. 25. For details call 548-0035.

Other events:

The Woodbridge Campus of Northern Virginia Community College opens its first art gallery with a photography show by students, Oct. 12. For details call 670-2191 or 323-3196.

Yuzuko Horigome, a young violinist, will perform at the Reston Community Center Oct. 13. For details call 476-4500.