Disciplines: Textile Art, Jewellery art, Embroidery, Story Telling, Mythology, Fiction and Non Fiction, Performance, Soft sculpture.
Dates: Monday 22 to Saturday 27 June 2020.
Concept/Workshops/Curating: Loukia Richards and Christoph Ziegler. Traditional Greek embroidery is taught by Metaxia Hantelis.
Τhe ARTIST RESIDENCY/ WORKSHOPS/ EXHIBITION is realized by the Vamvakou Revival team in the frame of the project “Vamvakou Revival”. The latter is realized thank to the moral and financial support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
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. This version of the myth gives participants 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 new work, test the power of traditional textile practice to support women’s social role, design with threads, words and movement the perfect outfit for a 2020s female role model and learn fascinating Greek embroidery techniques.
The Artist Residency/Workshops/Exhibition programme “Helen’s Dress” is part of the  “Vamvakou Revival” program for Summer 2020.
“Helen’s Dress” focuses on and is inspired by the Greek myth of Helen, queen of Sparta, its versions and updated interpretations.
“Helen’s Dress” offers eight (8) visual artists/designers/performers/writers/art theorists the opportunity to broaden their practice, to 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 and improvise on their own version of Helen’s myth.
“Helen’s Dress” focuses on the trinity: Embroidery – Narrative – Participatory Performance.  It offers workhops on traditional and contemporary embroidery, on narrative and mythology, on textile art theory and practice, on performance; as well as, creative walks through Sparta and the region and interaction with the visitors and locals.
The program is followed by the exhbitiion or presentation of the works or performances or narratives created during the Artist Residency.
Participation in the workshops program is obligatory for all team members regardless of their competence in the subject taught, for the workshops effectiveness is based on interaction of and creative interventions by all team members and not on hierarchical teaching.
Participants are obliged to give a short lecture on the topics and concepts the program focuses on or present their own practice and techiques on the last day of “Helen’s Dress”.
“Helen’s Dress” programme starts in the morning of Monday 22 June 2020 and ends in the early afternoon of Saturday 27 June 2020.
English and Greek is spoken during the program.
“Helen’s Dress” Open Call addresses international, mid-career visual artists or designers or performers / writers or story tellers/ art historians or critics  working in one of the following disciplines:
Textile art/ Embroidery / Jewellery Art / Mythology / Performance/ Soft sculpture/ Fashion / Design / Story Telling or Fiction or Non-fiction.
Crafting, story telling and social bonding were not separated at the very beginning of art.
The Helen’s Dress workshops’ holistic approach to performance, textile art, feminism, story telling and ritual aims at reuniting the fragmented reality of contemporary art by linking embroidery to a strong narrative, to symbols and allegories, to the very physical experience of team bonding through participatory performances.
Participation in “Helen’s Dress” programme is fee free. No application fee is charged either.
Candidates wishing to participate in the program should submit a portfolio including the following:
1. A short bio (150 words maximum) written in the first or the third person singular and highlighting the major events or achievements in the applicant’s professional career and/or life.
2. A bullet point CV (one Α4 page maximum) including one or more sections such as; Education, Exhibitions/Presentations/Lectures, Awards or Distinctions or Grants, Catalogues or Publications, previous Artist In Residence experience, Teaching experience or Academic career or whatever the applicant considers to be of importance.
3. A short proposal (150 words maximum) on what the applicant wishes to achieve during/through the program.
4. An answer to the question (100 words maximum): What is the applicant’s positive impact on the program, if selected?
5. Visual artists or Performers or Story Tellers should submit: Six (6) sharp and on focus photos of applicant’s work or three (3) videos (3 minutes maximal duration each) or thee (3) sharp and on focus pictures and one (1) videos (3 minutes maximal duration). Writers or art theorists sould submit: Three (3) copies of text or text fragments (350 words maximum/each).
6. A Cover Letter mentioning that the candidate submits a portfolio application for the “Helen’s Dress” program.
7. The applicant should also include in his/her Cover Letter the following information: Name, Age, Address, Country of Origin, Profession.
8. Application language is English and Greek.
The candidate may also include in his/her application portfolio (non obligatory):
1. A weblink/website/blog with pictures/text/documentation of previous events or projects.
2. Weblinks or PDFs with articles on his/her work or relevant interviews.
3. Whatever he/she thinks it is of importance for the best pesentation of his/her application.
The candidate e-mails his/her application (via WeTrasfer) to:
Sunday 26 January 2020 (11.59 pm CET).
Selected participants will be notified per E-mail by the end of January 2020. The names of the selected participants will be posted in the website and social media of “Vamvakou Revival” as well.
1. Six days/Five nights free accomodation in shared, double rooms (breakfast included) for the period Monday 22 June (check in) to Saturday 27 June (check out) in Vamvakou, Laconia/Peloponnese.
2. Free free workshop participation.
3. Individualized curatorial and consulting services to develop new work and present it in the best possible way.
4. Exhibition/presentation curation.
5. Promotion of the “Helen’s Dress” program and participants’ new work through the local, national and international Press.
6. . Promotion of the “Helen’s Dress” program and participants’ work through the websites and social media pages of “Vamvakou Revival” and its partners.
7. Photographic and video documentation of the “Helen’s Dress” program.
8. Participants’ fee free transport from Sparta to Vamvakou (in the morning of Monday 22 June 2020) or from Athens (Sunday 21 June 2020). Participants’ fee free transport from Vamvakou to Sparta (in the afternoon of Satuday 27 June 2020) or to Athens (Sunday 28 June 2020). Pleae, note that additional accomodation cost outside the dates (check in)  Monday 22 June an (check out) Saturday 27 June or transport fees for different dates than the ones explicitly mentioned above or to other destinations will be covered by the participant.
9. Available material free of charge for workshop purposes and for making new work.
10. Available material free of charge for the making of the exhibition/presentation.
11. Participants own and keep the works they created during the program.
12. Participants receive a certificate for participating in “Helen’s Dress” program.


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