HELEN’S DRESS – Textile Art, Embroidery, Story Telling, Mythology, Performance, Soft sculpture, Jewellery.
Intensive 7-day artist residency + workshop + public presentation in Leonidio/Arcadia-Greece
Description of the residency program
The Helen’s Dress workshop addresses international artists or writers or culture/art historians/theorists with a strong interest in a contemporary interpretation of Greek mythology, narrative, textile art, embroidery, fashion, design.
The workshop offers a maximum of 4 artists the opportunity to broaden their practice in textile art and embroidery, enrich their knowledge on the compatibility of Greek myhology to give valuable answers to contemporary dilemmas, discover the beauty of symbols and visual language of Greece’s embroidery motifs, deal with the concept of faith, love, betrayal, improvise of their own version of Helen’s myth.
The Helen’s Dress workshop focuses on the trinity embroidery – narrative – participative performance The workshop in Leonidio (Arcadia-Peloponnese) includes accommodation+breakfast, embroidery/narrative/mythology/Greek textile workshops, a guided visit in a traditional embroiderer’s workshop and guided walks in the archaic region of Arcadia, as well as the experience of participating in an old bonding ritual still practiced in Greece by textile lovers. For details, please read the program below.
According to a myth version, Helen of Troy – Greek mythology’s most famous adulteress – never left Sparta and her king husband to follow her lover Paris, prince of Troy; instead, she fooled Paris by giving him a speaking effigy which looked like her, talked like her, made love like her and dressed like her.
Thus, moon goddess Helen – her name derives from Selene/moon – fooled everybody and remained faithful only to her own self. What is the significance of this myth for contemporary women who still put the others first? is the first question workshop’s participants will face-
This version of the myth gives them the opportunity to work on Helen’s imaginary effigy and adorn her dress with their own stories translated into the visual language of the embroidery motifs. During the workshop, participants experiment with traditional Greek textile techniques, develop a narrative and a concept of their work, test the power of traditional textile practice to support women’s social role, design the perfect outfit for a 2020s female role model and learn fascinating Greek embroidery techniques.
The workshop includes an extensive analysis of Homer’s Helen and a creative update of the queen’s of Sparta contemporary message.
A presentation of the works created will take place at a local venue at the end of the workshop week. Participants will be also introduced in the symbolic significance of the Arcadian landscape, home of Dionyssus, the nymphs and satyrs, through guided walks in the surrounding area.
Helen’s abduction by Paris, prince of Troy, was the mythological alibi for the besieging and destruction of Troy by the Greeks 35 centuries ago. Homer gives a poetic account of the ten years long war and the come back of the warriors in his Ilias and Odyssey. The homeric poems are considered to be “The Bible of the Greeks”, for they give a detailed account of Greek civilization, faith and social customs – some of which remain unchanged to the present day.
Performances, costumes, jewellery, textile art, story telling and social bonding were not separate instances and actions at the very beginning of art. The Helen’s Dress workshop’s holistic approach to performance, textile art, feminism, story telling and ritual aims at reuniting contemporary fragmented reality of contemporary art by linking an archaic art such as embroidery to a strong narrative, to symbols and allegories, to the physical experience of bonding.
• 7-day (6-night) residency including shared accommodation in Leonidio, Arcadia. Breakfast is included in the price • Guided visits to Leonidio’s ancient and medieval monuments (Pyrgos Tsikalioti, Cave of Dionysus) and the town’s museum. Two guided walks in the area (3 hours) • Introduction to the meaning of ancient community rituals. Participation in a narrative and stitching group performance (2 hours) • Greek textile art, soft sculpture and embroidery workshop; history + semiotics + practice (20 hours). • Visit of a local embroiderer’s workshop and studying of 19th century and early 20th century works (2 hours) • Story telling workshop (3 hours). • Customized consulting regarding the individual artist’s concept and practice (3 hours) • Curated public event presenting the workshop participants’ new work in a Leonidio venue including PR, networking, Press and Social media promotion and documentation on the website and in the Social Media
Disciplines: Artists working with performance, visual and interdisciplinary art, multimedia art or design (jewellery, fashion) are encouraged to apply.
The Helen’s Dress workshop also addresses writers or culture/art historians/theorist with a strong interest in a contemporary interpretation of Greek mythology, narrative, ancient performance, embroidery language, textile art, ceremony and ritual.
Accommodation/studio: Shared accommodation (2 persons per room / shared bathroom and cooking facility) and workspace are included in the workshop.
Support: FaveLAB supports the artist with communication, practical advice and assistance during the workshop and the preparation of the presentation. FaveLAB may support grant applications by the artist with a letter of invitation (upon request).
Artist Fee: 760,- Euros paid by each participant. The fee does not include transport, travel fares, food, museum or site tickets. Each participant is asked to deposit a deposit of 50 Euros upon arrival (to be returned on departure)
Application requirements: E-mail your application with cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org including a short introduction of yourself and a statement (each max. 200 words, CV, website link, 4 to 6 images of your work) stating your incentive to participate in the Helen’s dress workshop. Please apply only if you are 30+ years old
Maximum number of participants: 4
Workshop date: Monday 30 March to Sunday 5 April 2020
Deadline to apply: 15 January 2020