Always, and these days even more, we need positive thoughts and teachings.
In Greece, most people have been confronted with the hardships of the economic crisis more heavily than most of us.
Our friend Angeliki is a respected ceramicist, capable of expressing great creativity and intelligence through her art and her teaching. We are happy to share her thoughts with you.
Twelve years ago, when I was preparing the courses for the Educational Program for Adults of the Ceramic Art Lab of DI.K.E.P.A Pellas, I wanted to include course-subjects that would be both innovative and enjoyable to the trainees. I aspired to explore topics that provoke and develop people’s imagination and creativity, as well as their ability to compound. I aimed at themes that emphasize the ductile and lightweight nature of clay as raw material; in this way, the trainees learn how to create clay works, which complement to the ambiance and sensuality of space.
This is how the theme “Light and Shadow – illuminating ceramics” was born. The students found it extremely appealing and engaging: they were very interested in the various techniques used for the construction and the design of artworks, as well as in the variety of artistic solutions that could be employed equally well in a workshop, a gallery or a private house.
Indeed, the theme remains inexhaustible to date, as we continue with no less interest to seek and try out novel solutions for the making of illuminative ceramic artworks that can be used on a desk, on the wall or on the floor.
(I should note here that I already had long experience in the manufacture of ceramic artworks, which were used to decorate public or private facilities).
Nowadays, reality in Greece appears to escape the ‘real world’ and life is overwhelmed with cynicism and vanity, while all sorts of certainties are being questioned. The austerity measures threaten to close down every social and cultural infrastructure, such as schools, hospitals, libraries, cultural centers and music schools. In such conditions of discontinuity, people need more than ever the consolation and hope which is encoded in art.
And yet, despite the harsh economic circumstances, more and more people come to participate in our ceramic art workshop. Since the very beginning in 1997, I have advocated the use of recycled materials in our workshop: at first using mostly paper and wood surfaces, and later including also copper from used cables, as well as colored glass. Now that resources are overall scarce, we encourage the recycling of any raw materials that involve clay or come in a moldable form, and generally, we try to cover our needs with recyclable materials that can be found in the city. These materials are (re-)used either in the manufacture and decoration of ceramic objects, as tools, or as objects that trigger inspiration.
Looking at objects and materials with a different perspective and using them in different ways very often results in finding unexpected and remarkable solutions, which in turn offer us great pleasure and a sense of fullfillment. We become ever more courageous and inventive in finding solutions, and we actively adopt the stance to be “re-active” and to “recycle” (words taken from the title of the Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art).
We continue to communicate with the trainees, in a discourse amidst the light and the shadow, exchanging ideas with any group of people and any individual who wishes to come in contact with us and join us in writing together, experiencing together and sharing bright stories of light.
Angeliki will teach a workshop this summer at La Meridiana, from July 27 to August 2, not surprisingly intitled “Light and Shadow”