The first Art4sea Residency in Alonissos concludes with great success

The first of the Art4sea artistic residencies on three Mediterranean islands has recently concluded with great enthusiasm. The protagonists of this extraordinary experience – digital artists Ada Johnson, Ioulia Marouda, Timaeus, Leon Butler, street artist Rame13, sculptors Anna Torre and Michal Trpàk, and underwater sculptor Micol Cornali – are now ready to redefine their projects after the many encounters and experiences in Αλόννησος (Alonissos). Here, they had the privilege of interacting with the local community, some local personalities deeply rooted in the island’s history, the scientific and artistic mentors of Art4sea, and most importantly, with the island itself, lush and tranquil, and its surrounding sea.

During the residency organized by Atlantis Consulting, in collaboration with local stakeholders and with the support of the Municipality of Alonissos, from May 10th to 16th, the eight artists had the extraordinary opportunity to immerse themselves deeply in the culture and nature of this gem of the Northern Sporades. Alonissos, along with the other “scattered isles”—Skiathos, Skopelos, Peristera, Kira Panagia, and Gioura—in the Greek archipelago of the Aegean Sea, is highly sensitive to environmental issues and sustainable tourism models. Moreover, the island hosts the first accessible Underwater Cultural Heritage site in the Mediterranean, attracting divers and increasing interest in UCH.

The artists’ program was rich with individual and group experiences: visits to the Folk Museum “Kostas Mavrikis” and the Knowledge Awareness Center, explorations of the historic center Chora and its Castle, the port village of Patitiri, and various other areas to identify locations that will host future art installations (murals and sculptures both on land and underwater).

The artists also engaged in snorkeling and diving, carefully guided by Kostas and Dimitris from the Ikion Diving Center. They were thus able to create their own underwater and terrestrial discovery routes, gather stories, data, and new visions to weave into their original ideas for the artworks destined for Alonissos in 2025.

The most thrilling exploration was undoubtedly the boat trip to the National Marine Park of the Northern Sporades (NMPANS), the largest protected marine area in Europe, known for the presence of the monk seal. The Marine Park area includes six main islands: Alonissos, Peristera, Skantzoura, Gioura, Kyra Panagia, and Piperi, along with 22 rocky islets. During the journey through the park’s crystal-clear waters, the group, led by Angelos Manglis (Atlantis) and other project partners present in Alonissos, visited Kyra Panagia Island with its post-Byzantine Monastery of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, the Blue Cave, the modern iron wreck of Peristera, and the bay of Agios Petros.

Finally, the project and the artists were presented to the community of Alonissos during the public event “Meet the Artists.” The meeting was introduced by Vicky Drouga (Atlantis), who spoke about the artistic and cultural connections being developed with the island and the upcoming stages of the Art4sea project: the Mediterranean islands of Gozo and Ustica. Macarena Marambio (ICM-CSIC) then engaged the audience by talking about the ocean as a single entity that connects us and is vital for all of us, emphasizing the importance of understanding and protecting it from the numerous threats it faces, especially with future generations in mind.

The main and not easy task of the artists will be to disseminate the information gathered by scientists, connecting it with the three Mediterranean islands and making it deeply comprehensible through their art.

Leave a comment

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the EACEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

ART4SEA Project  2024 | All rights reserved | Developed by 3D Research