The Olive Tree A Rooster Called Home
A solo textile art exhibition and fee free Greek Embroidery workshops by Loukia Richards.
@ Coco-mat Antwerpen, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, MAY 2011
It will be hard to trace any olive trees or roosters in Loukia Richards’s solo exhibition at the new Coco-mat stores in Belgium and The Netherlands but in the title.
Richards, a textile artist, a Hochschule der Kuenste Berlin graduate and Fulbrighter, makes use of a stereotypical image of Greece in her show title ‘to attract “unaware visitors” and surprise them with unorthodox works and doings’.
Richards’s textile work (tapestries, soft sculptures and selected textile jewellery) reflect the influence of modern Greek culture and weaving traditions, while the artist’s personal Odyssey through techniques, materials and foreign influences is prominent in the show.
The show, as well as the e-catalogue the visitor may download for free, is divided into four relevant chapters or colors:
Red for Greece’s national insurrection in the early 19th century, for the fatricidal civil war of the late 1940s and for the rejuvenating power of joyful Greek Easter – Black for death and mourning reflecting the dark sides of Greek history, inflated with wars and foreign invasions, as well as for the Hesiodeian chaos which gave birth to cosmos, according to mythology – Green for the plant deities, spring, flourishing hope and creativity – Blue for the sea surrounding, connecting and enriching the country of over 3,000 islands, a source of innumerable myths and legends.
Richards’s work shown in the exhibition includes her ‘embroidery notes’ on Washington DC (The Washington Diary), her fiber experience from working as an AIR at Ted Noten Atelier in Amsterdam’s Red Light District (Holy Bitch), her family’s recollections from the bloody civil war that shadowed her childhood with pain and mourning (Death Dolls). The focal piece of the show is the old style Greek flag, embroidered with Greek Embroidery motifs from the 17th and 18th century. Its title: ‘NO!’ (OXI!) refers to a word echoeing the resistance of Greek people to foreign invadors throughout their history: from the Persian wars in the antiquity to the nazi occupation in the early 1940s.
There is another element in the show which may surprise the visitor. She/he may participate in the fee free Greek Embroidery workshops taught by the artist (in English). ‘In a way, visitors are encouraged to perform the craft that lead to this show and by becoming active participants of the event, they get a better understanding of the living Greek culture and the background that produced this work’, Richards says.
Guests will also have the possibility to try their newly acquired skills on a piece of textile which will be used to build the world’s biggest mattress, an ecology-focused international event Coco-mat organizes on June 15th in Marathon, Greece.
(For more information on the ‘Marathon project’, please visit www.coco-mat.com or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Richards completed her research on Greek Embroidery at The Textile Museum in Washington DC funded by a Fulbright Foundation grant. The results of this work – sketches made of traditional 17th and 18th century motifs – are published in the e-catalogue. ‘It is: a) a much cheaper alternative compared to print material b) 100% eco-friendly d) can be home-printed and finally e) sponsors may also ‘e-publish’ it in their websites thus “spread the word” to their respective audience’, the artist says.
Richards dedicates her show and e-catalogue to the animals and plants of Greece inspiring her work and life.
Greek Embroidery Workshops
During the show, the artist will teach fee free Greek Embroidery workshops (in English). If you wish to participate, no previous notice is needed. Do not forget to bring with you: textile, threads, needles, a soft pencil, a notebook, scissors and (optional) textile colors, pastels or markers, pins, your questions!
Greek Embroidery workshop schedule:
From 3.00 to 5.00 pm at Coco-mat Antwerpen (but for Sunday 8 May)
From 10.00 am to noon at Coco-mat Amsterdam (but for Monday 16 May)
From 3.00 to 5.00 pm at Coco-mat Rotterdam (but for Monday 23 May)
Coco-mat Antwerpen | 03 – 10 ?ay | 10am – 6pm
Belgium. De Keyserlei 11. Please note that on Sunday 8 May the shop remains closed.
Coco-mat Amsterdam | 12 – 19 May | 10am – 6pm
Netherlands. Overtoom 89. Please note that on Monday 16 May the shop opens at noon.
Coco-mat Rotterdam | 21 – 28 May | 10am – 6pm
Netherlands. Westblaak 25. Please note that on Sunday 22 May and Monday 23 May the shop remains closed.
Een eerder bericht over deze tentoonstelling kun je hier lezen.
De catalogus van deze expositie kun je hier lezen en bekijken.