VORRES RESIDENCY PROGRAM
The Vorres Residency program which was launched in 2015 takes place every May. Through this residency, the museum aims to further strengthen the bi-cultural ties between Canada and Greece and in the process assert it’s role as the “Canada House” in Athens. It provides emerging and mid-career Canadian visual artists- all media - art historians, theorists and curators the opportunity to gain an in-depth knowledge of Greek contemporary art through their engagement with the permanent collection of the museum and immerse themselves in creative activities of their choice. It introduces the selected resident to local practicing artists, historians and curators in the spirit of cross-cultural exchange that will hone existing skills, promote individual relationships and explore new creative directions.
Ken Macklin, an Albertan sculptor, is the 2020 Vorres resident. Read more.
Resident 2019 - Morgan Melenka
During the Vorres Museum Canadian Artists Residency 2019, she conducted research to further develop her practice by looking at historical architecture in a moment of spatial re-evaluation brought on by our current digital paradigm. It took the form of photographic documentation of architecture in Athens, tests with paper sculptures and a draft of an artist book. In her practice, she looks to the theory and methodology of architecture, a discipline wholly concerned with space, and applies this language of spatial construction to digital architecture. This research residency afforded her the opportunity to test new techniques of developing sculptures from two-dimensional images of architecture and begin to work with artist books in her practice.
“Vorres provided me excellent support in this research. I collected a wealth of photographic resources all across Athens including: shopping malls, Roman ruins, Greek ruins, and neoclassical buildings. While in residence I responded to this research through three dimensional paper collage. The series of 3D sketches, titled “Anamorphosis”, is currently leading to new sculptures based on skewed images of various objects: fragments of ruins, objects of infrastructure, and architectural ornaments. Working at the Vorres Museum was a joy and I cherish the conversations I had with Nektarios, Anastasios and Ion. Engaging with the collection, especially the work of Costas Tsoclis, was a daily source of inspiration and educated me greatly on contemporary Greek art. This month of focused work in Paiania, in the gorgeous setting of the museum’s garden, has left a lasting impression on my practice”.
Resident 2018 - Michelle Paterok
After completing the Vorres Museum Canadian Artists Residency, she moved to Toyama prefecture, Japan, to teach English at a public high school. She lives in a quiet fishing town between the Sea of Japan and the Japanese Alps. Since moving there last year, she has organized an international community art exhibition at a local gallery and participated in printmaking workshops and group shows. She is currently working towards a two-person exhibition of new paintings in Japan for the spring 2020. Her current work deals with themes of memory, time, and their relationship to landscape. These ideas have been brewing since the residency in response to her itinerant lifestyle in the last few years, and thematically the work has taken a more introspective turn. In addition to the spring show, she is working on building her portfolio to apply to MFA programs in Canada.
“Finding time to paint while working full time this past year has been a challenge that has made me reflect on the invaluable opportunity the Vorres residency provides. The time and space afforded me the chance to research and work undistracted in the most peaceful and magical environment for a month, facilitating the development of my studio practice both technically and conceptually. I am grateful for the focus and clarity in my practice, that I was able to develop during my time at Vorres, as well as the kindness of everybody there”.
Resident 2017 - Jean-René Leblanc
Jean-René Leblanc continues his tenure as an Associate Professor of Digital Arts at the University of Calgary in Canada. In addition, he is president of the board of Emmedia Gallery and Production Society and co-founder of the Sensorium Lab, a cross-disciplinary research group focusing on research that develops systems of interaction that encourage kinaesthetic perception and interpretation. Since 2012, he has been using digital infrared photography to investigate spaces and places with strong historical and cultural significance. Snow in the Garden was created during a one-month artist in residency program in May 2017 at the Vorres Museum. This series explored two central concepts: 1) the recontextualization of the museum’s painting collection of Greek artists, 2) the symbolic rapping of artefacts placed in the Vorres garden. The title of this body of work is related to his personal connection as a Canadian to this wonderful museum with a breathtaking garden that is now part of his lived experience forever. Snow in the Garden was presented as a solo exhibition at the Vorres Museum in November 2018 and is now part of its permanent collection. In March 2019, the exhibition was also presented at the official opening ceremony of the Francophonie celebrations at the French Institute of Greece in the presence of dignitaries from Greece and abroad. The exhibition was under the auspices of the Canadian Embassy in Athens and the event was dedicated to the memory of Melina Mercouri. Jean-René Leblanc is commencing a 3-year research and visual art project that will investigate the diverse models of masculinity operating within contemporary cowboy culture, with a focus on rodeo cowboys in southern Alberta, Canada. The purpose of this study is to learn about and create artworks about the ways that male and female rodeo contestants understand their gender identity.
Resident 2016 - Allyson Glenn
Between 2017 and 2019 she developed a painting series under the title of Passages, which consists of nine large-scale (ranging from 48 x 86”) and six small-scale paintings. “Passages” was about the complex intertwining between ancient myth, social integration, boundary and rite of passage. Folk art busts of mythological gods juxtaposed with abstraction, contemporary architecture, gardens, and people, investigate other worldly presences and sustainability of ancient myth in current times. Passages was inspired by three locations, the architectural gardens of the Vorres Museum, Athens Greece; folk art statuettes, busts, and sculptures from Rodin and Antiquity exhibition at the National Museum, London, England; a garden boutique in Chelsea, London, and Minerva bust from Roman Baths in Bath, England. The lush grounds, sculptures, and architecture of the Vorres Museum and its proximity to Athens, made this an ideal place to explore the complex intertwining of ancient characters and current events. The complexity of Greece, its geographical, economic and philosophical positioning, presents a unique ideological paradigm to investigate. Considered the gateway to western society, it is not only the epicentre of storytelling but also the birthplace of philosophy and democracy. Passages, an exhibition in two parts, had two successful iterations, one at the Cultural Foundation of Tinos and the second at the Vorres Museum this past summer. His Excellency, the Ambassador of Canada to the Hellenic Republic, Mark Allen was present at both openings along with many art lovers. Brought to the fore of Passages’ positive reception were queries on myth themes such as, hubris, humility, and hypocrisy, so Allyson is continuing her research with her current project Eclipse (2019-2020) which will investigate the junction and divide between the actions of humans and their gods. Allyson continues with her teaching career at the Fine Arts Department at the University of Saskatchewan.
Resident 2015 - Eveline Kolijn
During her residency at the Vorres Museum, she experimented with folding and printmaking, where she juxtaposed imagery from the Museum’s gardens with iconography from the art collection. She wanted to both oppose and connect nature with our society. The folded Vorres prints were titled “Metabolic Rift”. Karl Marx came up with the term “metabolic rift” to explain the crack or rift that capitalism has created between social and natural systems, humans and nature. The discovery to use folding as an effective way to interweave and connect various themes was used in a 2017 collaboration between writers and printmakers. In this project, Eveline was paired with Canadian author Aritha van Herk, who had crafted a story with layers of time and many characters. Using a similar structure as in the Metabolic Rift print, she was able to tell her story in a single print. Kolijn also used its folding harmonica structure to house the piece in a cover and case. It is now in the collection of the Calgary Central Library and on permanent display in their award-winning new building. The concept of metabolism is also quite central in her most recent work, The Ocean Inside, combining video and printmaking. The installation is based on her first-hand experience of witnessing the devastating effects of climate change and other environmental stresses on the coral reefs. She has filmed and edited underwater video footage which is projected onto a translucent veil that is hand-printed with reflecting mica pattern, depicting a network of plankton as the web of life. The accompanying soundtrack is compiled of natural recorded soundscapes and waves of voices speaking in 16 languages. The Ocean Inside has been shown at IMPACT 10 in Santander, Spain in September 2018 and will be shown at Puertografico 2020 in Puerto Rico.
Eveline has been honoured with the Alumni Legacy Award by the Alberta University of the Arts.