Tag: art (page 1 of 2)

Modern sculptures amid ancient ruins: An extra visual delight for Delos visitors this summer

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Photograph of an Antony Gormley iron sculpture displayed among the ruins on Delos island

Sculptures by Sir Antony Gormley, including this 2015 work entitled Connect,  have been installed on Delos island as part of a landmark  art exhibition on display this summer only 

 

Modern art on ancient site: After exploring the historic ruins on Delos three separate times between 2004 and 2010, I haven’t felt an urge to make a return trip to the island in recent years.  After all, the monuments and the island itself wouldn’t look noticeably different from my previous visits, so there wouldn’t be anything particularly “new” for me to discover. And besides, there are dozens of other major archaeological sites in Greece that I haven’t seen at all — so going to some of those has been a higher priority than  a fourth trip to Delos.

But this summer  I have really been regretting that I can’t get to Delos to see something that is in fact completely new and different, and available for viewing only during this year’s tourist season.

It’s a groundbreaking modern art installation called SIGHT, which features 29 iron “bodyform” sculptures that acclaimed British artist Antony Gormley has positioned among the historic Delos monuments and antiquities — on the island’s coast and harbourfront, atop Plakes Peak and Mount Kynthos, and in one of the galleries in the Delos archaeological museum.

 

Sir Antony Gormley and one of the sculptures in his SIGHT installation on Delos as seen in a photo from the NEON page on Facebook

Antony Gormley poses with his 2017 work, Reflect, on Delos island. The photo was shared on the Facebook page for NEON, the non-profit cultural organization that commissioned and organized the SIGHT exhibition.

 

The SIGHT exhibit is noteworthy for two key reasons: It’s the first time an artist has taken over the archaeological site since Delos was last inhabited 5,000 years  ago, and it’s the first time the Greek Archaeological Council has approved a contemporary art installation on the island.

It’s an historic art event I would certainly appreciate: I enjoy sculpture (from any era) and I would love to see some of Gormley’s work up close. Viewing his pieces on Delos — five of which were created specifically for this event — would give me fresh new perspectives of the island and its significant historical and mythical past. I have been intrigued and moved by photos of the sculptures I have seen on websites and social media, so I know that seeing the pieces in person would be a fascinating experience.

Unfortunately,  a trip to Greece isn’t possible for me before the exhibit ends. But if you are a fine arts and sculpture enthusiast yourself, and you will be visiting Mykonos (or Naxos or Paros, from which daytrips to Delos are also available) before October 31, don’t miss the unique opportunity to experience the island while the Gormley “bodyforms” are on display. 

 

 

SIGHT is a project that the Greek non-profit cultural organization NEON organized in collaboration with the Ephorate of Antiquities of Cyclades. The exhibition continues until October 31 2019.

Extensive details and information about Delos and the sculpture exhibit are available on the SIGHT page of the NEON website

Below is an 8-minute video in which Antony Gormley discusses Delos and the inspiration for his work, followed by photos of several of the sculptures displayed on the island.

 

 

From the NEON page on Instagram a photo of an Antony Gormley sculpture on the coast of Delos island Greece

 

From the NEON page on Instagram a photo of an Antony Gormley sculpture atop Mount Kynthos on Delos island Greece

 

Photograph of the Antony Gormley sculpture Cast III on Delos island

 

A sculpture from the Sir Antony Gormley SIGHT exhibition on Delos island seen in a photo from the NEON page on Facebook

 

From the NEON page on Instagram a photo of an Antony Gormley sculpture positioned in the ruins on Delos island Greece

 

An Antony Gormley sculpture on the coast of Delos island seen in a photo from the NEON page on Facebook

 

Photograph of the Antony Gormley sculpture Shift II from 2000 in the Delos Archaeological Museum

 

One of the Antony Gormley iron sculptures on Delos island in 2019

 

Promotional image for the Antony Gormley contemporary sculpture exhibition Sight on Delos island in 2019

 

Cultural events on Mykonos during summer 2015

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EuroBirdWatch 2015 event on Mykonos October 11 2015

For the third year, Mykonos is participating in EuroBirdWatch15, the annual European festival of birds. Theme of this year’s event is migratory birds. The Mykonos event takes place at 11 a.m. on October 11 at the Upper Meras water reservoir, where participants can observe local and migratory birds. Environmental workshops for children will follow the bird watching session at the reservoir.

 

Delos 2015 documentary film

Cine Manto will present the world premier of Delos 2015, a 25-minute documentary which aims to promote cultural elements of historic Delos island near Mykonos. Narrated by Greek actor George Corraface, the film will be screened in English in two separate shows. An 8:30 p.m. screening is by invitation only, but the 10:30 p.m. show is open to the public and admission is free.

 

Evening Shift at the Lighthouse Music Recital on Mykonos

 “Evening Shift at the Lighthouse” is a music recital scheduled for the evening of September 27 at the landmark Armenistis Lighthouse on Mykonos. The concert begins at 7 p.m. and features singer Daphne Panourgia, cellist Stelios Tahiatis, and guitarist Platon Andritsakis.  Nikos Benos-Palmer will provide a brief history of the lighthouse. The event, which is hosted by the non-profit organization KDEPPAM Mykonos,  marks the launch of local efforts to raise funds to refurbish the historic lighthouse, which was built in 1891 and now requires extensive repairs.

 

Mykonos Canceer Association benefit program at Mykonos Gym & Bowling

On September 27, the Mykonos Gym & Bowling Center will host a special fundraising benefit for the Mykonos Cancer Association.  The event will feature demonstrations of Latin dancing, kickboxing and Tae Kwon Do, as well as live music performances. Participants include the Perseus Athletic Association Mykonos, the Shall We Dance Academy of Mykonos, Quartetto Tropicale, the Veronis Brothers rock band and the Pole Dancing Penguins. Proceeds will be donated to the Mykonos Cancer Association for the support of cancer survivors and their families, and for community education programs. 

 

Cuban Night at Natura Restaurant

September 26 is Cuban Night at Natura Restaurant in the Leto Hotel Garden. The event features live music by the Latin band Quartets Tropicale and singer Ramon Soto Abreu

 

 Gastronomy Project at Bill & Coo Suites & Lounge Mykonos

Jacques Pourcel of the 3 Michelin stars Le Jardin des Sens restaurant in Montpelier is the featured guest chef for the September 8 Gastronomy Project dining event at Bill & Coo Suites and Lounge. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Ark of the World defence association for children’s rights. 

 

Concert at Delos island August 28 2015

A free concert featuring Greek singer Gerasimos Andreatos and the Mykonos Choir will take place at Delos island on the evening of August 28

 

Acrylic & Mosaic Exhibition on Mykonos

An Acrylic & Mosaic Exhibition will be held at the Mykonos Municipal Gallery on Matogianni Street from August 22 to 31

 

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From August 14 to 23, the Cultural and Folklore Association of Women of Mykonos is hosting a handicrafts bazaar and exhibition of regional products in the municipal hall at Ano Mera town square. The bazaar spotlights products ranging from “books to traditional homemade dishes, dolls and textiles, jewelery and other artefacts crafted with love and care by locals,” mykonosdaily.gr reported. (The photo above appeared with the mykonosdaily.gr article.)

 

Cigar Rolling Event at the Mykonian K Hotels in Mykonos

On August 20, the Myconian K Hotels in Mykonos Town will host a cigar rolling event from noon until 2 p.m. Master cigar roller Regla Tolon Calderon, who trained at the El Laguito factory in Cuba, will demonstrate the old-fashioned and traditional art of cigar hand rolling.

 

Maria Rampa photography exhibition on Mykonos August 2015

From August 11-20, the Municipal Art Gallery of Mykonos hosts “Between 2 islands (Mykonos – Great Britain),” an exhibition of photos by Maria Rampia

 

Cooking classes at JackieO Beach Mykonos August 2015

The JackieO’ Beach club at Super Paradise is presenting “Introduction to Cycladic Cuisine,” a series of cooking classes led by Chef Christoforos Peskias. Classes run from August 10 to 20, starting at 10 a.m. each day.

 

Mykonos exhibition of artwork by Alexis Akrithakis

An exhibition of artwork by the late Alexis Akrithakis is being presented from August 21 to September 5. The show is being held at the School of Fine Arts from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 10.30 p.m. daily.

 

Celebrity Chef Ossama Kutaini at Buddha-Bar Beach Mykonos

From August 3 to 8, Ossama Kutaini will be guest Celebrity Chef at Buddha-Bar Beach in the Santa Marina Resort at Ornos

 

Nobu Food Festival 2015

Internationally acclaimed Chef Nobu Matsuhisa is back on Mykonos for the 12th annual Nobu Food Festival, taking place July 29 to August 1 at Matsuhisa Mykonos in the Belvedere Hotel

 

Full Moon concert on Delos

Imagine attending a live concert the stars, surrounded by the world heritage monuments of Delos island. You can do it on August 1! This year’s Full Moon concert on Delos features Dimitris Papadimitriou & Fotini Darra, who will perform from 9.30 to 11.30 pm. Tickets cost 25 Euros per person and include the return ferry trip to Delos. (Ferry departs Mykonos at 7.30 pm). Tickets are available at Cine Manto, the Foreign Press Stand, and Passaji restaurant.

 

Petros Papavassiliou art exhibition on Mykonos

From August 11 to 20, the Municipal Gallery of Mykonos will hold “Petros,” a retrospective exhibition of paintings by the late Petros (Peter) Papavassiliou.  The show includes works that the artist donated to the Municipality of Mykonos in 1994. The show will be open daily from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., and from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m.

 

Kivotos Art Projects

The contemporary art gallery space at the luxury Kivotos Hotel at Ornos is hosting the Kivotos Art Projects again this summer in collaboration with the Aegeanale international platform for art & culture. From June 1 until October 18 the gallery features painting, sculpture, photography, video, and multimedia works by a variety of established artists. The show is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The event’s inauguration celebration takes place at 8 p.m. on August 1.

 

Marina Vernicos photo exhibition at Skoufa gallery

Skoufa gallery presents “Sea Through II,” an exhibition of seascape photography by  Marina Vernicos. The show opens July 25 and continues until August 6.

 

Cocktail experience week at Buddha-Bar Beach

Buddha-Bar Beach is throwing another “Cocktail Experience Week” event, this time from July 29 to 31

 

George Giotsas White View art exhibition on Mykonos July 2015

The Municipal Gallery of Mykonos at 45 Matogianni Street is hosting an exhibition of 33 new mixed media paintings by George Giotsas from July 21 to 31. The show is open daily from noon to 2.30 p.m., and from 9 to 11 p.m.

 

Luis Orozco painting exhibition Mykonos 2015

From July 17 to September 30, Cine Manto hosts Beyond Mykonos, an exhibition of works by Luis Orozco. The artist was born in Mexico City but has lived on Mykonos for the past 55 years, drawing inspiration from the architecture, landscapes, people and even the winds for which Mykonos is notorious.

 

Mykonos Biennial 2015

The biggest arts and culture event of the summer is Mykonos Biennale 2015, which opens with an art, video and short film festival July 3 to 7 and continues throughout the summer with contemporary art exhibitions, live performances and other events.  This year’s theme is “Antidote.”

As explained on the event’s website, “The Mykonos Biennale is a cult event which brings together artists from all over the world to create something new, to break the borders of their own art, using the telluric energy and hermetic beauty of this cosmopolitan island. The international multicultural events will interact with the local memories, traditions and historical spaces creating a unique experimental event. The art exhibitions, the installations, and performances of the artists, the musicians and dance group will spread through out the monasteries, the museums, the old houses, the ancient island of Delos, the windmills and other monumental buildings, like a treasure map of the old island. The heart of the festival is the Cine Mando which will host the first open air video film festival.” See the Mykonos Biennale Facebook page for extensive information about event times, locations and participating artists.

 

Antigone performances on Mykonos summer 2015

Looking to experience some arts & culture while visiting Mykonos? Take in one of the performances of Antigone, showing every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night at 9.15 p.m. until August 30. Performances are in English, and are held at the KDEPPAM Central Hall in Mykonos Town.

 

Mykonos gastronomy event July 2015

The Mykonos Gastronomy Club presents Η κουζίνα είναι καράβι που ταξιδεύει, (The kitchen’s ship travelling) from July 11 to 20. The 10-day event promises some tasty surprises for food lovers, and includes an exhibit of photography by Στεφανίας Ρουγγέρη.

 

George Hadoulis art exhibition

Skoufa Gallery in Mykonos Town presents an exhibition of works by George Hadoulis from July 11 to 23

 

Mr Pug restaurant Mykonos July 13 2015 event featuring Domaines d'Ott

On July 13, Mr Pug restaurant will be hosting a special dining event featuring dishes of its exquisite Siamese cuisine paired with wines from Les Domaines d’Ott. Tickets are €90 per person.

 

Buddha-Bar Beach Mykonos hosts celebrity chef Weng Wong

Buddha-Bar Beach hosts Celebrity Chef Weng Wong June 30 to July 4

 

Handcrafted jewellery exhibition on Mykonos June 26 to 30 2015

An exhibition of jewellery handcrafted by Athina Christou Villalobos takes place June 26 to 30 at Cine Manto

 

Apostolos Chantzaras exhibition at Skoufa Gallery

Skoufa Gallery presents “Sea Rhythm,” a special exhibition of works by Apostolos Chantzaras

 

Buddha-Bar Beach Mykonos cocktail experience event

It’s “Cocktail Experience Week” at the new Buddha-Bar Beach club at the Santa Marina Resort & Villas. From June 25 to 27, Yanni Kiskini will be hosting the event, which features signature designer cocktails from Buddha-Bar clubs around the world. This “cocktail experience show” was created by Matthias Giroud, executive chef barman for all the Buddha-Bar clubs.

Cyclades islands celebrate summer with festivals for food & wine, arts & literature, culture & sports

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International Festival of the Aegean

A promotional poster for the 10th Annual International Festival of the Aegean taking place July 6 to 19 in Ermoupoli on Syros island.

 

Food & culture fests: I love travelling to Greek islands during low season, particularly in the spring, but that means I always miss out on major cultural and gastronomical celebrations that are held only during the summer.

Just in the Cyclades group of islands this month alone, a wide variety of food & wine festivals, painting & photography shows, arts & literature events and fun sport competitions will be taking place on Antiparos, Naxos, Paros, Santorini, Schinoussa, Serifos and Syros.

(Cultural events abound in other island groups, too, and of course there are scores of religious festivals throughout the country, many of which take place during the summer. But those are topics I’ll cover in future posts.)

Below is an outline of just a few of the festivities you can check out if you happen to be island hopping in the Cyclades between this weekend and the end of September. You’re in for a big surprise if you thought the Greek islands were only about picturesque villages, beautiful sandy beaches and gorgeous scenery!

 Click on the 2 in the link below to continue reading about activities on Antiparos, Santorini, Naxos, Paros, Schinoussa, Syros, Serifos and Mykonos.

 

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An Athens hidden gem: the TAF art space & café

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The Art Foundation in Athens

An art installation in one of the cool gallery spaces at metamatic: taf

 

 

Cool spaces: If you’d like to have a coffee or drink in a cool and truly unique setting, and have the opportunity to view contemporary art exhibitions at the same time, make plans to visit metamatic: taf (formerly called TAF: The Art Foundation) next time you’re in Athens.

One of the most fascinating cultural venues we’ve ever seen, metamatic: taf is an incredibly innovative multi-purpose facility that features cool gallery and performance art spaces along with a fabulous courtyard-café bar that received praise in the New York Times Magazine last year.

metamatic: taf is secluded inside a rustic old building at 5 Normanou Street in the Monastiraki flea market neighbourhood of Athens, and is so inconspicuous from the dingy, dark street that it’s almost hard to believe more than 200,000 people visit each year. Until you see what’s inside.

 

Our friend promised to show us something amazing

A friend showed us the place last October while we were on our way to a birthday party in the nearby Psirri neighbourhood. Leading us along a series of dark and narrow cobblestone streets, she promised there was something “amazing” that we just had to see while we were in the area. (Of course, we couldn’t help but wonder where the heck she was taking us, since the streets were practically vacant and everything appeared to be locked up tight.)

We had absolutely no idea what to expect when we stepped through a pair of wrought iron doors into a stone-walled, ground-level room that was almost empty.  The room had a few pieces of furniture, including two televisions that were both turned on, one displaying the words “super cool” above an image of a ceramic owl. We walked up a flight of stairs, turned a corner and found ourselves on a walkway overlooking the impressive courtyard café. I distinctly remember saying “Wow!” and thinking what a great place it would be to have a drink.

Our friend led us down the walkway, where windows and doors offered views into rooms housing a variety of interesting and provocative contemporary art installations. The works reminded me of art projects we had seen during some of the annual Nuit Blanche events back home in Toronto. After we spent a short period of time checking out the art displays, our friend led us through the courtyard — which was buzzing with dozens of people enjoying conversation over wine, beer and cocktails — and eventually back out to the street.

 

Look for a small, illuminated logo next to a doorway

When I asked “how the heck would anyone even know how to find this place,” our friend pointed to a small illuminated metamatic: taf logo on the wall next to the entrance gate. If we had been trying to find the place on our own, I think we probably would have walked past without even seeing the sign. Of course, it was obvious once it was pointed out to us.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to stay for a drink and enjoy the atmosphere because we had to join other friends for a birthday dinner celebration at a taverna. But next time we’re in Athens, we’ll see if we can find our way back.

If you need to be convinced that metamatic: taf is worth a visit, consider that it got good press in the New York Times Magazine. The magazine’s April 7 2013 food and drink edition included the feature A World of Secret Watering Holes, in which overseas-based New York Times reporters described “their most memorable drinking spots.” Correspondent Rachel Donadio’s pick for Athens reads: “It’s on a gritty street in downtown Athens, under the shadow of the Acropolis. At night, you have to wander through a shuttered flea market to find it. But inside, the Art Foundation, or TAF, is a hidden garden — a courtyard where trees are strung with lights; an oasis, young and alive.”

metamatic: taf also was profiled in an October 11 2013 article that Nelly Paraskevopoulou wrote for USA Today’s 10Best Travel Advice for Travelers website in October 2013.

You can obtain more information about the venue and its events by visiting the metamatic: taf Facebook page.

 

metamatic: taf in Athens

A small illuminated logo marks the location of the entrance to the metamatic: taf galleries and café-bar at 5 Normanou Street

 

 

metamatic taf in Athens

Televisions we saw inside the gallery & café entrance

 

 

metamatic: taf in Athens

The cozy courtyard café and bar

 

 

metamatic: taf Athens

A daytime view of the café courtyard. I found this photo on the metamatic: taf blog. The gallery and performance spaces are contained in the two level structure that encloses the courtyard. The rickety building looks like it’s ready to crumble, but its dishevelled appearance enhances the courtyard’s ambience and atmosphere, thanks to the café’s subtle nighttime lighting.

 

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