Ceramics Biennale in Santorini: Bridging Past and Present

Santorini
A vista of Santorini. Source: Zarastro Art

Santorini is hosting a contemporary ceramics biennale this summer, highlighting the dynamic role of ceramics in the contemporary art scene and the medium’s enduring significance in Greek culture. The platform fosters an exchange of ideas and methods between local and international artists in the ceramic art world.

The Biennale of Contemporary Keramics (BCK) is planned as a biennial event that will relocate each time. It will shift to a different Greek island for each edition. This strategy seeks to foster cultural exchange and partnerships with diverse artists, groups, institutions, and organizations. Each new venue guarantees a distinctive encounter enriched by the island’s mythology and historical legacy.

Santorini is recognized for its breathtaking scenery and profound historical significance, presenting a distinctive environment that combines the splendor of nature with an extensive archaeological legacy. The ancient city of Akrotiri, often referred to as the “Minoan Pompeii,” lies close to the island and provides a rich historical background that raises the value of contemporary artwork on display there.

The Akrotiri archaeological site, destroyed by a volcanic eruption in the second millennium BCE, inspired this event with its rich artistic and cultural artifacts. The biennale honors Greece’s traditional ceramics while bridging past and present, inviting artists to reinterpret historical themes inspired by Akrotiri.

The biennial spans over a period of five months and includes group and solo exhibitions, as well as lectures, seminars, and workshops. The opening exhibition “Clay Echoes – Unearthing Hidden Narratives” is being hosted at the Prehistoric Thera Museum. Sepetzoglou Nikos is conducting a workshop titled “Reconstructing Ceramics Through Drawing”.

At Santorini Arts Factory, a temporary exhibition running until July 5 features a group show titled “Her Hands Were Muddy When We Met”, showcasing works by Maru Meleniou, Nasia Pavlidou, Angeliki Stamatakou, Marina Taliadourou, and Leonie Yagdjoglou.

Another significant event is Major Greek Ceramicists – Visionaries of Yesterday, Teachers of Today by 6exi Contemporary Ceramics. This extensive group exhibition, divided into “The Generation of the 50s” and “Greek Ceramics Today”, will be held at Santorini Arts Factory from July 13 to August 24, featuring 28 artists. Additionally, Theodora Chorafas is presenting a solo exhibition at the same venue.

Promoting a dynamic interchange of ideas and methods between Greek and foreign artists is one of the Biennale’s main objectives. The event offers artists a unique space to exhibit their work and engage with a global audience, respecting both traditional and contemporary practices. It seeks to include not just the artists and the art community but also the wider public, letting the audience learn more about ceramics and perhaps even give it a go at making their own creations.

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