Cosmos united

EN/GR During August – October 2013 I had a solo exhibition at the Umweltbundesamt (Federal Agency for the Environment) in Dessau, Germany. The Umweltbundesamt is the science and research department of the Federal Ministry of the Enviroment.

It was a great honor for me to present the traditional „Weltanschaung“ of my culture depicted in my embroideries and „koureloudes“ (rugs) made of trash.

For two months visitors and employees faced the old Greek flag I embroidered hanging at the Umweltbundesamt lobby.

I documented and sketched the motifs on paper at the Greek Collection treasury of Τhe Τextile Museum in Washington DC. A scholarship by the Fulbright Foundation made this research possible. I am grateful for this opportunity and challenge. I embroidered the traditional 17th and 18th century motifs between 2009-2010. The title of the work is No! OXI!

To understand Greeks you have to take into account that they uttered many „No s“ during their long history – against all odds. Or as the poet says:

„For some people the day comes
when they have to declare the great Yes
or the great No (…)“

http://cavafy.com/poems/content.asp?id=1&cat=1

Greek embroidery reflects the notion of the „united cosmos“; a world where gods, men, animals and plants are part of  bigger „One“ and cannot exist without each other.

We need to consider this message today.

The workshops we offer in Athens and Leonidio treat textile as an element of life, while mythology is updated to talk address present day dilemmas.

More on our workshops here: http://www.leaveyourcrisis.com

LINKS:

https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/muellsafari-auf-schienen-zyklus

http://www.loukiarichards.de

http://www.myths2015.de

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Η ατομική μου έκθεση στην Ομοσπονδιακή Υπηρεσία Περιβάλλοντος στο Ντέσαου διήρκεσε από τον Αύγουστο μέχρι τον Οκτώβριο του 2013. Η Ομοσπονδιακή Υπηρεσία Περιβάλλοντος είναι ο επιστημονικός βραχίονας του Ομοσπονδιακού Υπουργείου Περιβάλλοντος.

Ηταν μεγάλη τιμή για μένα, μία Ελληνίδα εικαστικό, να παρουσιάσω την παραδοσιακή κοσμοθεώρηση της πατρίδας μου όπως την μεταφέρουν χωρίς λέξεις τόσο τα κεντήματα όσο και οι κουρελούδες μου, έργα δηλαδή που παρουσίασα.

Επί δύο μήνες οι επισκεπτες και το προσωπικό της Υπηρεσίας έβλεπαν με τη είσοδο τους στο λόμπυ του εντυπωσιακού, βιοκλιματικού κτιρίου τη σημαία που κέντησα με παραδοσιακά μοτίβα του 17ου και 18ου αιώνα. Τα συνέλεξα και τα σχεδίασα πρωτα σε χαρτί κατά το διάστημα της έρευνας μου στην Ελληνική Συλλογή του Τhe Τextile Museum της Ουάσινγκτον. Την έρευνα αυτή πραγματοποίησα χάρη σε μία υποτροφία του Ιδρύματος Φουλμπράιτ, για την οποία είμαι ευγνώμων.

Τα μοτίβα του ελληνικού κεντήματος αντανακλούν την πεποίθηση ότι ο κόσμος είναι ενιαίος: θεοί, άνθρωποι, ζώα και φυτά είναι μέρος ενός συνόλου και κανένας δεν μπορεί να υπάρξει χωρίς τον άλλο. Το μήνυμα είναι εξαιρετικά επίκαιρο και χαίρομαι που είχα την ευκαιρία να το διατυπώσω μέσα από τη δουλειά μου και να το παρουσιάσω στο πιο κατάλληλο μέρος για αυτο τον σκοπό.

Ο τίτλος του έργου είναι ΟΧΙ!

Δεν ειναι ασύνηθες το ΟΧΙ στην μακρά ελληνική ιστορία ή όπως ο ποιητής λέει:

„Σε μερικούς ανθρώπους έρχεται μια μέρα
που πρέπει το μεγάλο Ναι ή το μεγάλο το Όχι
να πούνε.“

http://www.kavafis.gr/poems/content.asp?id=151&cat=1

Αν απορείτε πως ένα ομοσπονδιακό γερμανικό υπουργείο εδωσε βήμα σε μία Ελληνίδα, στη σημαία και στις κουρελουδες της, θα σας πω το εξής που είναι η αρχή μου σε όλα τα πρότζεκτς  — είτε είναι ατομικές μου εκθέσεις είτε εκθέσεις τρίτων που επμελούμαι:

Αν έχεις κάτι να πεις και τα επιχειρήματα να στηρίξεις το μήνυμα σου, καθώς και την φιλοπονία που για να πραγματοποιήσεις το όραμα σου, πείθεις τους άλλους να σου δώσουν βήμα.

Στα εργαστήρια του καλοκαιριού 2017, θα ασχοληθούμε με το ύφασμα όχι απλώς ως μέσο, αλλά ως τμήμα της ζωής. Θα μιλήσουμε επίσης για τον χώρο της τέχνης στο εξωτερικό και τις δυνατότητες να εκθέσει κανείς το έργο του.

Για περισσότερες πληροφορίες/κρατήσεις ή για να μπείτε στη λίστα με τις ενημερώσεις μας, παρακαλώ γράψτε σε loukiarichards@gmx.de

 

SnapShot 2016-05-17 um 22.34.33

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Q&A: Mixed Media Contemporary Jewellery

EN Text. Photo collage: Sketches and jewellery (2008).

During 2006-11 I participated in the Crafts Council England (CCE) programme: „I answer students’ questions“.
The idea was to connect CCE „Selected Makers“ to future designers and artists who would like to learn from the experience of the former.
I am posting a few Q&A that could be interesting for other designers as well:

Questionnaire – Mixed Media Contemporary Jewellery

1. How would you describe your creative style?

It is mixed media and interdisciplinary; it combines various materials and techniques; colour and shape and volume is a major issue, so in a sense, it is not just jewellery; my style is also influenced by painting and sculpture.

2. What materials do you use?

Textile, threads, semi-precious stones and silver (occasionally).

3. What are your reasons for using these materials?

I love textile and I call myself a textile artist. Jewellery is just an application of my work.

4. What processes do you use? (general not specific details)

Sewing, embroidering, weaving (some times) — very traditional (and old fashioned) crafts, indeed.

5. Have these processes been self taught and discovered?

My grandmother taught me the basics when I was a child.
Later I practiced a lot, I read books on techniques and I also studied/researched, including my research at The Textile Museum in Washington DC funded by the Fulbright Foundation.

6. Are you traditionally trained in jewellery making or did you come to it via another artistic discipline?

I am a trained designer and visual artist; I discovered the jewellery possibilities after I completed my studies.

7. What is the driving influence behind your design work?

If I have to choose one thing among many infuences, this would be the wonderful Greek Embroidery motifs of the 17th and 18th century. Visiting the V&A respective collection has made me believe I found my voccation in life!
Greek Embroidery is an art transmitting very contemporary values and concepts like ecology and world openess and collaboration.

8. Have you taken part in any specifically mixed media jewellery exhibitions? (only very brief as I have read your detailed CV on website)

St. Botolph’s Church, London – Faith, RAI Amsterdam and Coda Museum for Contemporary Art (the Netherlands) – Sagiannos Gallery, Athens and various publications in UK (Please note: I gave this interview in 2009. In the meanwhile I had more projects and shows: http://www.loukiarichards.de)

9. What do you find to be the advantages and disadvantages of working with mixed media in your work?

An advantage is the creativity without boundaries, disadvantage is that people often have to put you under a specific category to understand your work; the other problem with mixed media jewellery is that is usually ’non-precious‘ in terms of materials or stones, so it sells as ‚art‘ and it is kind of difficult to sell to a broader public in times of a big financial crisis (Please note this was only 2009!)

10. Has your work been particularly influenced by any other jewellery designers or artists in general?

Of course, there is no parthenogenesis in the world. I would need volumes to write down all the names.
Mark Rothko, Lucas Cranach, Jospeh Cornell, Jenny Holzer are among my favorites right now, but I think if I had to name but one I would say the pre-classical (archaic) Greek art (scultpure) with the female statues smiling a ‚Gioconda smile‘ ; this is my biggest influence and greatest love.

11. Is the idea of beauty important within your work?

Absolutely. I believe in the very hellenic concept of ‚philokallia‘ — love of beauty; it states that beauty and truth are one and the same.

12. How do you see the use of mixed media as influencing the contemporary jewellery industry?

I think the influence is increasing; I think it is a great development; it shows that jewellers themselves discover the possibilities of other art media and techniques and take their craft more for an art than ever before.
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Many years later I read this review of my CCE performance as a „consultant“ written by another student.
She is now a very active blogger and calls herself „Girl and the dog“.
I was moved by her kind words:

http://dneese.blogspot.de/2012/05/loukia-richards.html

People often ask me questions. If I know the answer I am glad to share it, because I also ask questions — all the time.
If you have any questions you believe I can answer, just write them down and ask me!
If I do not know what the answer is, I will let you know.