The «Helen’s Dress» was found in Vamvakou!

The «Helen’s Dress» was found in Vamvakou!

An innovative digital residency program for artists (e-Residency) take place from June, 22 to 27 of 2020 in Vamvakou, Laconia

It is possible to have a residency program for artists from all over the world in the midst of the pandemic crisis, from a small village in Lakonia, the Vamvakou? It is possible to be done without physical presence of the artists? How can a residency program be turned into online?

The COVID-19 crisis travels restrictions made the scheduled artist in residence program “Helen’s Dress” difficult to attend. So, we are called once again to adapt to new circumstances and we seized the opportunity to redesign the artist residency and turned it into a digital one: the first e-Residency from Vamvakou was born! Eight international artists will be “hosted” during the period from 22 to 27 June 2020, in cyberspace from Vamvakou … where they will attend an intensive program of meetings, workshops and lectures on embroidery and Greek mythology, using new technologies.

The e-residency program “Helen’s Dress” is an innovative answer in unprecedented challenges of the times and paves new paths in art. The program implemented for the first time by Vamvakou Revival, as a part of the project Vamvakou Revival, thanks to an exclusive grant of Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF). “Helen’s Dress” artist in residence, as well as the e-Residency version, has been designed and is curated by visual artists Christoph Ziegler (Germany) and Loukía Richards (Greece).

The program’s creative exercises, artists’ works, including drafts, notes, sletches and observations, will be published in a digital book. It documents the innovative approach and answers the main questions this e-Residency focuses on, namely: Can Greek mythology answer contemporary problems? Can Greek embroidery translate modern topics into symbols and motifs? Can Greek embroidery communicate ideas in a visual, easily understood, “esperanto”.

Helen, the mythical queen of Sparta, is a female archetype that can be found in many cultures. Her love story triggered a merciless war. The e-Residency participants will work on an updated version of the myth and address contemporary evils, such as misogyny, abuse, manipulation, fake news, conflict. At a time when, unfortunately, violence against women is making Headlines, new Interpretations of the myth are gaining considerable weight.

Participating artists: Carla Castiajo, visual artist, Portugal / Anika Gupta, writer, and Trisha Gupta, textile artist, India/USA / Anastasia Hassiotis, choreographer and writer, Greece/ Christina Mitrentse, visual artist, UK/Greece / Amelie Spitz, Jewellery artist, Germany / Hannah Stippl, visual artist, Austria / Aggeliki Symeonidou, Embroiderer and crafts activist, Greece.

The team will document challenges encounters in the program’s blog. For more information, other material of the online workshops and other creative opportunities, see here.