Irene working on her mosaic
Mosaic Fish based on a Cypriot design
Irene breaking stones for her mosaic work with an anvil and hammer
Merhaba from Turkey folks!! I’ve got so much to blog about but internet access can be sporadic whilst on my travels and now is the first time I’ve had a chance to write anything. I’m currently in Turkey but this post is about a great mosaic artist I found in Mykonos.
Irene Sirianou has a shop in Agios Vlassis,Mykonos (about the size of a shoebox) in which she sells and makes mosaics based on the ancient designs from the nearby island of Delos. As with most Greek artists I have found the web is a work in progress but here’s the website. Delos has great mythological significance being the birthplace of Apollo.
Irene was a tour guide there for many years and knows a lot about the designs and their significance. She now works in mosaics made from a kind of man made conglomerate stone (as far as we can understand). It breaks very easily and into VERY small pieces. You can see long sticks of in the background of the photo of her breaking it up on the special pointed anvil she uses.
Lucky for me she had just arrived from Athens when we arrived at the shop and could have a chat with her. In the non tourist season Irene goes around to all the small islands and teaches the kids mosaics. She invited me to come back and do something with her another time. I hope she was serious!! I’d love too.
Love and Art
Written 6 June 2013…
This morning we have just left the island of Amorgos and are on our way to Mykonos via Paros for lunch. “Which Greek island would you like to go to for lunch today darling?” I say to Bel jokingly.
Last night we went to buy our ferry tickets in the port of Katapola and had browse around. I discovered the Amorgos Art Gallery run by Stella Spanou a former architect who runs the gallery filled with her own artwork. I asked Stella why she didn’t work as an architect and she said she did for about four years, but then “she wanted to be free”. I think we can all understand that as creative people.
Apart from drawing in architecture training Stella is self taught and gallery contains paintings of local scenes, portraits of people and works influenced by Cycladic forms. Her works are available in a vast array of forms, including paintings, t-shirts, ceramic mugs, magnets and more. The pomegranate also features in a lot of work as it does in many Greek shops, as a symbol of good luck.
It’s great to see a young artist working in a contemporary style and going it alone.
Amorgos is a beautiful and little know island hardly touched by tourism. It was a welcome break after the madness of Santorini. If you need a gentle artistic and creative retreat Amorgos could be the place to go.
We stayed at Pension Ilia in the “Hora” (old town) in a studio that made us self sufficient. I would encourage creative types to visit Amorgos and drop in on Stella’s gallery and help support a local artist buy buying some of her work. I like to support artists the world over and I think the smaller Greek islands need this support, especially the artists of course!
Oh, and I also introduced Stella to the concept of yarn-bombing so who know what you might find there next time!
Love and Art
I’m here in GREECE!! Woo hoo!! I’ve seen so much interesting and amazing stuff to blog about that I have been overwhelmed. It’s hard to pick just one thing to write about. I’ve been drawing in my little notebook and taking lots of photos.
For this post I thought I would show you some of my little sketches from my notebook which cover a number of themes and subjects areas, people, places and things. That way, you get a broad smorgasbord of what I have been doing, seeing and experiencing.
The sketch of the red vase is of a ‘loutrophoros’ which is a ritual object used for bathing prior to getting married. There were lots of these in the New Acropolis Museum. Each one has a story drawn on to the side of it to do with the wedding. Kind of like a comic book format in rows with a series of images. The more beautiful and decorative they were the more wealthy the bride and groom. These were from around about 500 BC!! Wow! Pretty amazing.
The image of a Japanese/American tourist I saw on the boat is of an actual person on the ferry to Santorini. Now I know I’m a tourist too but if there ever was a uniform for the tourist this guy had it all!!
The lady with the leopard print thongs worn with stockings also was pretty interesting!
I have taken to drawing the view from our hotel windows and there is one abovenfrom our Santorini hotel. Santorini is actually a volcanic island and this view is of the volcano centre.
At the time of writing this post I am on the island of Amorgos. There is a sketch from our room window here above too. It is very different to Santorini and a lot less touristy. The view from our window here is of rocky mountains and ancient windmills. We have been noting the daily goings on from our window. The donkey in the paddock below has been providing much amusement through it’s actions and the incredible sound it makes.
Well I think that’s it for the moment.
Love and Art