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Art Inside an Office

This blog is not only about Museums, Galleries and established artists. It is about the small, artistic things I see in my everyday life. Today, I discovered art, inside my office.

Working at a museum means that I experience art daily. The wonderful architecture of the building, the creative gift shop and the daily information I get for future exhibitions are only a few examples of art I experience. The Cycladic Museum is known for being inventive and unique. It manages to stay interesting by always developing and coming up with new ideas and activities. The latest activity of the Museum was a childrens creative competition. What do you think will happen, if you introduce kids to a museum’s competition? Magic!

The Museum of Cycladic Art is introducing a very unique competition for our young friends between the ages of 6-12. Kids are given a blank paper, with just the outline of a traditional Cycladic Seated figurine and all they have to do is let their imagination free and express themselves using any colors or materials they like.

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There are no limits to this project, so kids can make their statue  an old man or a young girl, dress it with different accessories, cover it with a superhero suit and even transform it into a musical instrument or a scary animal. As far as their imagination goes, the sky is the limit and it is not only fun but it is also an artistic experience. Ten kids, with the most interesting works, will join our Kids summer program for free, and the first winner will get the chance to see his/her work featured in our Children’s Program Poster.

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Have a look at the images presented. These are only a few of the wonderful works that our offices have received. We decided to transform our office to a more creative and colorful place by using the childrens drawings. I simply love the way kids have been expressing themselves and letting their creativity show through their unique works. They have incorporated different materials, colors, shapes and patterns. If you look closer, you can identify the inspiration from different artists and artistic genres through the colors, patterns and shapes used to fill the figurine’s shape. Their personality shines through in the way they add their own little details giving their statue unique features such as extra body parts, hairstyles and accessories.

I simply love the creativity of this project and how the children managed to transform our everyday office to a wonderful small gallery. Hope you enjoyed this post

Thank you for reading
Elli

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Discovering the Greek Museum of Cycladic art in a 3 minute video

After completing my Universities exams, I returned to Greece to spend my summer vacation and I decided to look for an internship for a couple of months. I felt extremely lucky and excited when I finally  got an internship at my favourite museum in Athens, the Museum of Cycladic Art.

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The Museum of Cycladic Art  (MCA) is dedicated to the study and promotion of ancient cultures of the Aegean and Cyprus, with special emphasis on Cycladic Art of the 3rd millennium. Today in the galleries of the Museum, the visitor can approach three major subjects. The permanent collections of  Cycladic Art, Ancient Greek Art and Ancient Cypriot Art.

Besides the permanent collections, the Museums temporary exhibitions constitute one of the most fruitful activities, constantly renewing the museum’s interaction with the public. The numerous archaeological exhibitions are meant to introduce the public to important aspects of ancient Greek art as well as of other Mediterranean cultures, with loans from other Greek and foreign museums. Apart from archaeology, the temporary exhibitions of the museum frequently focus on modern and contemporary art, aiming to introduce the public to important 20th century artists and explore the links between ancient cultures and modern artistic creation.

The following video, is a great opportunity  to become familiar with the beauty of the Museum

Let me know your thoughts and feelings after watching the video and  If you find yourself in Athens, make sure you visit the Museum of Cycladic Art.

Important links for information and news

www.cycladic.gr
https://www.facebook.com/CycladicArtMuseum
http://instagram.com/cycladic_museum#
https://twitter.com/cycladic_museum

Exhibition Suggestions

Hello everyone,

My university’s second term has come to its end, and I will be going back to Greece to spent the easter holidays with my family and friends. The good news is that I will try and keep up with my blog, focusing on the many interesting art events currently happening in Athens. The bad news is that because I don’t know the exact date that I will be coming back to London,  I will probably have to miss some great art exhibitions happening here at the moment. As a result of that, I have selected my top three exhibitions that I really wanted to visit but did not have the chance. I am hoping to be able to visit them when I come back, but in case I don’t, here they are; make sure that you take a look , be inspired and if you decide to visit them, let me know what you thought!

Momentum, at the Barbican Centre (Images courtesy of Barbican Centre)
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“Momentum consists of twelve pendulums that activate light and sound as they swing, drawing attention to the Curve’s vast arc, inviting you to journey through the space guided by your heightened senses. Each pendulum has been meticulously designed and built using steel, aluminium, and custom electronics. The sound is individual to each pendulum, prepared and tuned to seamlessly resonate as they move within the Curve”. Momentum creates an unique environment that has its foundations in detailed research, sophisticated computer technology and mechanical expertise. Yet, the effect is to create a space that feels wondrously transformed, one which you are invited to experience and explore.” (information taken from: barbican.org.uk)

Sensing Spaces: Architecture Reimagined at the Royal Academy of Arts

“Some of the most creative architectural minds from around the world have come to the RA, and we’ve set them a challenge: to give you a new perspective on architecture. ‘Sensing Spaces: Architecture Reimagined’ sees our Main Galleries transformed by a series of large scale installations. As you respond to different structures, textures, lighting, scents and colours, we invite you to consider some of the big questions about the nature of architecture. How do spaces make us feel? What does architecture do for our lives?” (royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/4)

Martin Creed ‘Whats the point of it”  Hayward Gallery (Images courtesy of Hayward Gallery)
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A survey of Martin Creed’s playful, thought-provoking art.Over the past two and a half decades British artist Martin Creed has pursued an extraordinary path by confounding the traditional categories of art.Winner of the 2001 Turner Prize, Creed is recognised around the world for his minimalistic approach that strips away the unnecessary, but preserves an abundance of wit, humour and surprise.Crossing all artistic media and including music, his art transforms everyday materials and actions into surprising meditations on existence and the invisible structures that shape our lives. This exhibition includes work containing nudity, bodily functions and some adult content and will be the first major survey of Martin Creed’s work, spanning its most minimal moments and extravagant room-sized installations.”
(Information from: southbankcentre.co.uk)

I really hope that this post will motivate you to go and visit these three wonderful exhibitions. If you do, please comment below and tell me what you thought of them, I would really appreciate it.

Thanks for reading,
Elli

Learn

Are you a tourist or a traveller?

Have you ever wondered the reasons why people travel? Why do you travel? Is it a part of your job, are you visiting family, or are you going on holidays? In any case, thousands of people travel everyday for their own personal reasons, but what do they take with them from each travel?

This post is the last one, out of a series of three one-minute films ‘MOVE-EAT-LEARN’. Director Rick Mereki, along with Andrew Lees as an actor and Tim White as a cameraman collaborated in creating these three short films that started as an assignment from a travel agency. They were asked to shoot a very short film around the world, for STA Travel Australia. Their adventure started, and with only 2 cameras available, they travelled 38.000 miles which is approximately two times around the earth. They recorded their discoveries and  experiences and brought back with them almost one terabyte of raw video footage, from which they only kept the best parts to create three 1-minute-clips. The  music of all films is an original and composed by Kelsey James.

The video shown, ‘LEARN,  is exactly what its titles suggests. With this film, the director and his team present their adventures and experiences throughout their travels. The most significant thing about the video, is that they don’t simply present the different countries and locations that they explored, but the new things they tried, experienced and learned. They believe that what is most important about travelling is learning more  about the places you visit. It’s not only about walking around, visiting touristic attractions and following tourist books, but engaging with the people of each country and making the effort to learn more about their lifestyle and culture.

Currently, tourism is an essential figure for modernity and one of the largest industries in the globe as it is an essential element in the structure of the economy of industrially developed countries. In the form of a economic practice, tourism is a commodification of space, place and movement. But it is a cultural practice as well. So why do people travel? Tourism can take many different forms and mean different things to people; economic and cultural practice, visual culture, mediation, ritual  performance, pleasure, identity status, power, wealth, freedom, search for  happiness, search for the authentic sacred. In any case, the meaning of this short film, is that we need to take advantage of our travels, and learn as much as we can from them.

The following quote I included, is one by the director of the short films, Rick Mereki,  after he was asked to give his Top Travel Tip, at one of his interviews from found at the Hostelling Blog.

“Open yourself up to everything and leave all your personal, cultural baggage and your insecurities at the door. The most amazing thing about travelling to a new country is that it allows you to shed the skin of who you are, you can be free to be the kind of person you have always wanted to be. Then open your heart up to everyone and everything and the world will open up in front of you”

Don’t leave everything you saw and experienced behind, take it with you. Don’t be a tourist, be a traveller. Don’t just observe, experience. Don’t just travel, Learn

EAT

This is the second post, out of a series of three posts, with the title MOVE-EAT-LEARN, each focusing on a different short film, created by Rick Mereki. If you have read my previous posts, you probably know the following information already, but for those who are visiting for the first time, I will provide some information about Rick Mereki, and his series of these three, 1-minute films.

Rick Mereki, along with Andrew Lees as an actor and Tim White as a cameraman collaborated in creating these three short films that started as  an assignment from a travel agency. They were asked to shoot a very short film around the world, for STA Travel Australia. Their adventure started, and with only 2 cameras available, they travelled 38.000 miles which is approximately two times around the earth. They recorded their discoveries and  experiences and brought back with them almost one terabyte of raw video footage, from which they only kept the best parts to create three 1-minute-clips. The  music of the films is an original composed by Kelsey James.

This post, makes me think about the new trend, that has been going on the last years that has to do with people that enjoy taking photos of their meals and posting them on social media (Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter etc) . I personally tend to do the same thing, I, am not really sure why, but I do. This film actually makes me connect the artistic part of taking photos of food with the cultural aspect as well. Food is not just something that we need to consume in order to survive, it says a lot about our personality, our lifestyle, our background and our culture.

The specific film focuses more on the cultural aspect of food. It illustrates in a quick but beautiful way, how food changes from country to country. Based on the countries climate and resources but mostly, traditions and culture, food is is thought and created differently. In  ‘EAT’ , I loved how you can see the image of different meals prepared, combined with other completely different ones from other cuisines and countries that are not connected at all. I found my self enjoying the film and trying to match every meal with the country I thought it originated. The rhythm of the music and the fast change from one shot to the other, made it harder but  fun and entertaining.

Rick Mereki posted the following quote to his tumblr account, as a comment to his own work for ‘EAT’ short film. In my opinion, the reason why he posted this quote was to focus on the fact that what makes food interesting is our effect on it. And by travelling to different countries and experiencing different cultures, you get the chance to come across different people and understand why they create food they way they do from eating habits and traditions.

Breakfast is the only meal of the day that I tend to view with the same kind of traditionalized reverence that most people associate with Lunch and Dinner. I like to eat breakfast alone, and almost never before noon; anybody with a terminally jangled lifestyle needs at least one psychic anchor every twenty-four hours, and mine is breakfast. In Hong Kong, Dallas or at home — and regardless of whether or not I have been to bed — breakfast is a personal ritual that can only be properly observed alone, and in a spirit of genuine excess. The food factor should always be massive: four Bloody Marys, two grapefruits, a pot of coffee, Rangoon crepes, a half-pound of either sausage, bacon, or corned beef hash with diced chiles, a Spanish omelette or eggs Benedict, a quart of milk, a chopped lemon for random seasoning, and something like a slice of Key lime pie, two margaritas, and six lines of the best cocaine for dessert… Right, and there should also be two or three newspapers, all mail and messages, a telephone, a notebook for planning the next twenty-four hours and at least one source of good music… All of which should be dealt with outside, in the warmth of a hot sun, and preferably stone naked             – Hunter S. Thompson

This short film made me look at photos of food in a different way. Look deeper into where the ingredients came from, the way they were cooked and combined and what that said about the person that prepared them, about his habits, personality, culture and background. I hope that this post will make you thing about those things when consuming or just when looking at food.

Thanks for reading,

Elli

Mary Katrantzou LFW

I am very interested in fashion and the reason why I haven’t posted anything related to fashion so far is because I was waiting for the right moment, and here it is, London Fashion Week. Organised by the British Fashion Council, LFW ranks alongside New York, Paris and Milan as one of the ‘Big Four’ fashion weeks, and its considered a big deal for fashion lovers worldwide.

Every year, I enjoy watching all four different fashion weeks, from online live streaming and youtube as well as reading different articles and interviews of the designers. This year, I got the chance to attend a fashion  show, and more specifically, Mary Katrantzou’s  runway collection.

Mary Katrantzou was born in Athens, Greece. She studied at Rhode Island School of Design and completed both her BA and MA at Central Saint Martins in London. She has previously worked for Sophia Kokosalaki and freelanced for Bill Blass. Mary received the prestigious Swiss Textiles Award in 2010, and in November 2011 she was awarded the British Fashion Award for Emerging Talent in Womenswear. In February 2012, Mary was awarded Young Designer of the Year at the Elle Style Awards, and was also awarded Designer of the Year at the British Fashion awards 2013. At this year’s British Fashion Awards, Katrantzou is nominated for the New Establishment Award.

Mary Katrantzou is well known for her famous complex prints. Her architectural,background is apparent in the shapes of her designs.   ‘Her thematic collections revolved around an icon of luxury, looking for the filtered beauty within it; an object from art of design that a woman would not be able to wear if it were real”. In that way, she has created her own, signature style; something that is new and innovative and people like and appreciate for its unique and intelligent style. “Each print is designed around the garment, and the garment  around the print”

Even though the designer has become synonymous with her signature digital prints, for her fall-winter collection 2014, in my opinion, she took her designs to the next level. Her collection included super sleek silhouettes, pleated maxi dresses and metallic suits. Her inspiration came from the idea of uniforms and the symbols used on them from her designs decorations. 

She was also inspired by everyday wardrobes, from boy scouts to bakers and bankers. Texture was a main component of her collection, with symbol-shaped brocades, chain mail, and pleating. Monochrome landscapes were inspired by turn-of-the-century black/white photography.

What I specifically loved about her collection, was some of the fabrics she used that were so beautiful and complex in their construction, over printings, bondings and embossings. She applied graphically urban scenes to soft knitwear creating beautiful and dreamy garments.

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After her work was showcased in London’s fashion week, some people commented that her collection was hard to ‘love’, because of the flat angular shapes that looked very difficult to wear, and also because of the lack of her signature designs and colours, In my opinion, her collection was the exact opposite. In comparison to her previous collections, this one is definitely easier to wear, as she uses many different materials, and includes many pieces with simple shapes and less colours. Moreover, in her collection you can see a big variety of, prints, shapes, textures and colours, which makes it easier to wear and also more likely to appeal to a larger audience.

I simply loved her collection, her colours, textures and innovative prints and materials. I don’t know whether I left the show feeling that enthusiastic because it was my first experience in fashion week, or because I was feeling proud since Mary is Greek like me. But either way, it was a perfect evening and her collection just makes me excited to see what she’s going to present next.

Thank you for reading,
Elli

Flavour so Beautiful

Have you ever tasted something so delicious that you felt like a small explosion took place inside your mouth? Well this is what an explosion of flavours literally looks like! 

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This is a Screen shot of Schwartz Flavour shots, “Sound of taste” advertisement

Its well known that different foods and spices are tasty and delicious, but who would imagine that they could be beautiful as well. This art audio-visual installation created by Schwartz Flavour Shots, is trying to illustrate how an explosion of flavour one tastes, literally looks like. For this Project, DJ MJ Cole, Filmmaker Chris Crains and pyrotechnics designers Machine Shop collaborated with Schwartz Flavour Shots to create this unique installation.

A combination of foods and spices were used for this installation to happen. Several tons of black pepper corns, cardamon, turmeric, paprika, cumin seeds, ginger, chilli, basil, corn, salt and many other beautiful and colourful spices were placed in explosive bags, rigged to explode on certain music notes.

What I really love about this installation is the fact that numerous explosions can look not only powerful, but peaceful and beautiful at the same time. With the combination of this carefully selected music, food has never looked this appealing. I really like the attention in detail. More specifically, I enjoyed the high resolution shots of the different spices mixed together. From the close-up shots, you can see the details on the green basil leaves, and the way they are mixed with cumin seeds and all the other spices. From the long shots, details are not visible, which makes it interesting to see how spices have the ability to look like different colour powders   mixed together.

The Following video is a behind the scenes short video that  explains in detail, how the music composers managed to create peaceful music which brought together all the elements of this installation.

In my opinion, what makes this installation truly amazing, is the music used throughout the video. Music, is what brings all the other elements together and makes this installation ‘work’. When this project first started Schwartz asked the music composers to show how food feels through their music. So music was written with the intention of communicating what is like to taste something and developed in terms of intensity. The second step was to take the music written and use it to trigger explosions with herbs and spices. In music you can have different timbres that I guess relate to different flavours, and colours relate to different cords”MJ Cole (Composer) The way that worked was that when music was played, each key that was pressed resulted into an explosion. The main intention was to create an audio visual feast. So a matrix of spice sacks was used and then pyrotechnics were trigger in the bottom of the sacks.

 “So I hope people find it satisfying, vibrant, colourful, exciting thing to watch”, MJ Cole

In my opinion, MJ Cole and his team managed to do exactly that! What did you think?

Sweet Escape

There is something about nature that in my mind is highly connected with art. I am not the kind of person that believes that ‘everything around us is art’ or that whatever we see and touch could be considered a form of art, but there are places in the world that I find very artistic.

I have a summer house in Greece and more specifically in Mani, a village that has amazing beaches on the one side, and beautiful high mountains on the other. I go to Mani every summer since I was born but I have truly understood its beauty the last couple of years. Through photography, I have managed to see the beauty in a place that I considered to be ordinary when I was younger. For the first time that I can remember, I visited my summer house in the winter. My father suggested that it would be a sweet escape for the weekend and that I would not regret going.

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I took my dad’s advice and decided to leave my house in the city of Athens and go for a weekend to my summer house in Mani. It was raining the entire first day and I was hoping that I would wake up to a clear sky the next morning, and so did I. The village was empty, so the beaches, but the view from my house was exactly the way it is during summer time, even though it was almost January. The sky was clear and blue and everything was very peaceful. I decided to take pictures of the day and then see how the sky and the sea change and adapt based on the suns position.

I was amazed by the beauty that can be created just from the sun. As the day was passing, the sea and the sky would change in the most beautiful ways. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I am sure that I have never seen such beautiful sun set in my life. The colours were unreal and all of the pictures have not been edited at all.

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After a while, when it got too dark to be outside, I went inside the house and transferred the photographs to my computer, in order to see them better. Firstly, I could not believe that my iPhone could take such good quality photographs, and I could not believe that in all these years, this was the first time I truly saw the beauty of my summer house’s view. I looked at the photos over and over again, thinking that they look like the photos you find on the internet when you google ‘amazing photos’ or like the screen-savers a new computer has saved when first bought.

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What I truly find interesting about these images, is how amazing a simple photograph could be. I only needed my iPhone 5 in order to take these shots. The rest was all pure nature. I did not have to create a set, get props or work on the background. No light was needed, no flash, or anything. All of the colours and shadows were ‘real’. Real in the sense that they were not edited and not set up. Everything was there just for a second, and every photograph was different from the previous one, because of the natural wind that simply moved the clouds, and the sun that slowly changed position. These photographs are unique and one of a kind, and even if I go there at the same spot, at the same time, nothing will be the same. And in my opinion, that is the art of nature. 

Ps: To view the images in a larger size, simply click on them