Eleven Greek jewelry artists travelled to Germany to introduce their work inspired by Greek Mythology to the German people in an effort to overturn any stereotypes that the economic recession has awakened a few years ago.
The eleven Greek jewelry makers used gold, silver, wood, enamel, plastic, gemstones and leather, and drew inspiration from the Greek Myths, making an effort to reintroduce Greece to Germany.
The artists – Katerina Glyka, Thomas Thomidis, Haris Kaminari, Voula Karampatzaki, Christina Karakalpaki, Apostolos Kleitsiotis, Vally Kontidis, Liana Pattihis, Otsis, Systemalab and Loukia Richards – presented their creations in Berlin. Each one of the artists chose a myth corresponding to his mood, his needs, his own temperament and ideology.
The Greek word for jewel is cosmema, deriving from the Greek verb “cosmó” (to decorate) and from the noun “cósmos” (world/ universe).
“Precious or non-precious jewels seem to obtain the double meaning of the word ‘cosmos’ (World/Universe). It ‘jewels,’ in other words; it decorates, but at the same time it retains a deeper connection with the universe, the natural, the social and cultural environment through the material of which it is made,” underlined Dr. Georgia Kakourou Chroni, Curator of the National Gallery of Greece at her speech for the “Myth/Mythen” exhibition.
Vally Kontidis chose the myth of Hades and Persephone, “the myth of life and death, of the love for your companion and the maternal love, the darkness and the light, the sadness and happiness,” she stated during her interview at ANA-MPA.
“This is a great opportunity to show to the German people that causing problems and being lazy are not something that describes us after all. It is about time we show them our other face, the ‘pretty’ one,” she continued.
The expo also has a commercial purpose. Ms. Kontidis mentioned that it is a very difficult time for the jewel makers.
“The Greek State does not help small businesses anymore,” she said.
Ms. Kontidis had to close her shop because of the ongoing economic recession that Greece suffers from. She seems disappointed in the fact that Art has also become one of the recession’s victims.
The inspiration of the whole effort belongs to Mrs. Richards. She believes that the Greek jewels have an enormous power and an almost anthropological meaning. According to Mrs. Richards, in Northern Germany, people are not familiar with a daily use of jewelry, and for them it is easier to approach the jewels as a message, or statement.
When asked whether she was concerned with timing, Mrs. Richards replied, “In Germany, there are many people with a high educational level who do not get affected by the media.”
The expo took place in Berlin December 11-19 and will move to Hamburg for a short time from February 6-9.