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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 17 December 2016
ARTS 22 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 17 DECEMBER 2016 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Geometricity, 2015, from Experrectus series, Shelley Webster. Participants for Athens Artists-in-Residence Program announced For the first time, the entire AAIA Hostel will be a dedicated space for artists Imagine the luxury of spending a month in Athens working on your creative pursuit. That's precisely what Dr Charles Anderson, Louis Porter and Shelley Webster will be doing this December at the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens (AAIA) Hostel. Selected to take part in the Athens Artists-in-Residence Program, for the first time the entire space will be dedicated to artists, transforming it into a hive of creativity. And if all goes well, from 2016 onwards, each December the hostel will be given over to writers and visual and performance artists. "It is a testament to the institute − and to the need for such programs − that with very short notice the AAIA Contemporary Creative Residency attracted so many applications," the AAIA said on its website. Given the impressive calibre of entries, the AAIA decided to award two, with a third selected by the University of Wollongong (UoW), the first of which is Dr Anderson, a senior lecturer in architecture and design at RMIT University. During his stay in Athens, he will be working on the next iteration of his ongoing House for Hermes project, in which he explores our contemporary condition as defined by issues of homelessness, displacement and exile. In the next chapter, he hopes to delve deeper into the spatial and formal expressions of the Hermes and Hestia mythos and the capacity in the contemporary demos for 'hospitality'. The second resident selected by the AAIA is artist Louis Porter, whose work centres around the creation and exploration of photographic archives. Currently held in a variety of private and institutional collections, he will be exploring the sub-currents of the relationship between photography and archaeology. In particular, Louis will look for trac- es of the Athenian photographer Panagos Zaphiropoulos, who produced the photographs for Heinrich Schliemann's Trojanische Altertümer. The third resident, selected by the University of Wollongong, is Shelley Webster, an emerging Australian artist working primarily with fine art photography. Having completed her BCA (Honours) at the University of Wollongong last year and received the University Medal for her photographic exhibition ‘Altera Vita’, she is now turning her attention to a Doctor of Philosophy, for which she will conduct research while in Athens. Shelley will look into the relationship between art, architecture and social life in early Athenian democratic society. Influenced by the philosophy of John Dewey, she has a particular interest in how art functioned as a part of daily life in early Athenian culture and will in turn focus on the visual and social communication of democratic ideals during this time and how this shaped a sense of community and the experience of being with others. Through her creative practice, she will consider the contemporary ramifications of these ideas through the design of interactive artworks that facilitate communication and interaction between participants. The residency program has been designed in such a way that artists and writers with an interest in the Hellenic world are given the chance to expand their body of work and practice by directly engaging with Greek life, culture and history on a daily basis. Ideally located in the heart of Athens, the artists will be exposed not only to the many layers of the city's long and rich past, but also to its vibrant contemporary culture. With assistance from the institute, they will also be able to access material in its many museums, archives and foreign schools that are not otherwise readily available. By running the residencies concurrently, the awardees have the benefit of being around each other with the potential to inspire, inform and support one another. "The institute is delighted with this new initiative, which not only offers tangible support to emerging and established artists but sees a broadening of our engagement with the community in line with the AAIA's object to promote ancient, Byzantine and modern Hellenic research by Australians both within our own country and in Greece," said the AAIA. "There is no better time to be an artist in Greece: with the next edition of the prestigious Documenta coming to town in 2017, the eyes of the art world are firmly focused on Athens. We wish our three artists a productive, stimulating and enjoyable month."
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