Greek India Project

Greek India Project – A proposal

Exchanges / ανταλλαγές / değişim / एक्सचेंजों / ایکسچینج 

The premise of Exchanges / ανταλλαγές / değişim / एक्सचेंजों / ایکسچینج is to host a dialogue with artists from Greece, Turkey, India, Pakistan in an empty store in the flea market area of Athens, Greece. The four countries represented share a similar experience in their histories; the forced transfers of populations with the intention to create homogenous countries based on religion. The exchanges of populations in 1923 between Greece and Turkey and Partition in 1947 forming India/ Pakistan have left lasting memories in both countries. It has been often said that the exchange in 1923 served as the template for Partition. The two sets, Greece/ Turkey and India/Pakistan are traditionally known as adversaries in spite of sharing common everyday foods, textiles, ancient sites and traditions.

Artists from Greece/ Turkey/ India and Pakistan will be invited to send their favourite poem in the form of an audio recording or paper text. The poems will be put into my collection of antique  Quran bags and Greek costume bags which will have speakers inside. They will be installed floating against the  back drop of my large collaged works and collection of textiles and costumes dating back to the Ottoman empire.

The selection of a store space near the flea market, Monastiraki area, highlights the ideas of exchange and barter. Although now the flea market shops in this area are full of the same mass-produced touristic items, many made in China, in the past the market was full of discarded old textiles and costumes, which are very rare to find now. The collection includes pieces from my great Grandfather’s textile shop in Tripoli, Greece in the late 1800’s, hand made laces from my family; dating back to 1900 along with costumes I bought from the Monastiraki in the 1960-70’s. (Note – I wore many of the costumes on a daily basis as a young woman) Shared threads of images and design can be seen in the textiles from East to West;  including a group of embroidered Quran bags- gifted to me by AA Bronson after our trip to India.

Exchanges / ανταλλαγές / değişim / एक्सचेंजों / ایکسچینج acts as an intervention in the area, creating a space for the dialogue of artists within a collage of fabrics and textiles from east and west referring to the lost silk road. The installation will act as a healing process, with memories of the past revealed in an active living space.

Books & poems  (selected by the artists) will be available in a small sitting area for people to read them. A series of events will be planned- a poetry reading, panel and an afternoon tea with sweets from the four countries served.

(Note : Included here to view are the recent combine works with costumes – embroideries on printed canvas or linen, which can function as the walls/ installations of the shop waiting for poems )

02.CS_detail of golden rose thread

Greek Bed of Roses , printed roses on canvas and antique Greek Costume, 9ft by 12ft. 2016

Greek Bed of Roses , printed roses on canvas and antique Greek Costume, 9ft by 12ft. 2016

04.CS_detail of Rose costume

05. CS long wall

06. CS Long wall detail

07. CS long wall detail

08. CS_Ayapi


10. CS_Ottoman Gold XXX

12. CS_Ottoman Gold XXX:detail square