02 Apr 2020

The river as a place to remember, and a place to forget

CAPTION: The Greek myth of the Oracle of Trophonius, and its relationship with the nexus of the River Erkyna, was a key inspiration for visioning work in Levadia.

I was incredibly inspired by the stories of the River Erkyna when I came to Levadia for the first time during the research residency in January 2019. I came away thinking that the river was a kind of spine for the town, historically providing everything from laundry facilities and rubbish takeaway, to an important place for ritual. The river was a place to remember and a place to let go – echoing the myth of the Oracle of Trophonius (see image above), which like many ancient Greek oracles was built at the nexus of two springs. I began asking about stories or rituals involving the river, from everyday encounters to symbolic and important lifetime events like baptism.

Read More

29 Aug 2019

Documenting and filming in Levadia

The Swedish artist and film-maker Jonas Myrstrand participate at the ArtCafe with a screening of his music documentary The Singing Raven (60 mins).

He did a “Spring Race” on the Erkyna river with some children and filmed it to make “A good Memory of Water”. Jonas also documenting and filming the hole process, actions and interactions of all the artists to trace the learning and impacts of Memory of Water in all the partner cities. Read More

22 Apr 2019

Levadia Artists Production Residency

Artistic Residency

The 1stArtists’ Residency in Levadia (28 January – 2 February) focused on a first and in depth acquaintance of artists with the city and its people. The artists during their first residency had the opportunity to discover different sources of inspiration for their artistic proposal. The 2ndresidency had as a main objective the artistic intervention of the participating artists for the elevation of the river Erkyna and the space along the river as well as to show that the river is a vital element for the development of the city. There was a positive footprint from the residency in the city.Read More

19 Apr 2019
mow digital lab

Digital Lab

The whole event was recorded and you can watch it here:

15 Mar 2019

Preparing for Levadia Revisited

Our six artists from six European post-industrial cities are preparing to embark on the second of their six residencies, this one in Levadia, Greece. I am so excited to know what the artists are thinking and have glimpses of what might be, like glittering reflections on the water. Siegfried from Ostend who works with spray paint, is identifying some young people who make graffiti art in the city. Will they work on one particular wall in one particular space to create work together? Will they work on their own work and also help the artist create a new mural for the city?Read More

20 Feb 2019

Partners Meeting

Agenda “Memory of Water”

Report of

Partners Meeting, Levadia 31 January – 1 February 2019

Venue: Old Town Hall, 1 Karagiannopoulou str.

 

Present: Iwona Preis, Mary Conlon, Martin Meire Virgine Michils, Liz Gardiner, Lambros Skarlas, Andreas Stamatakis and (Magdalena Zakrzewska, Roman Sebastyanski via skype).

 

First meeting – Artists’ Residency in LevadiaRead More

11 Feb 2019

Myths & legends

The River Erkyna runs continuously through the city of Levadia. So many impressions, warm welcomes, and pictures … The camera fills with faces, meetings and conversations. Only now with a little distance and on a closer look at the pictures and clips, I realise the heavy stream of influence the river has here in Levadia. This stimulates our creative challenge and we are in the middle of the flow! The ideas begin to take shape, collaborations wake up, exchanges with the locals are investigated and begin to take form. There is so much to do – while the Erkyna continues to flow.

We also met a living legend, the sculptor, poet, actor, and philosopher Spyros Gourgiotis who recounted the myth of the river. Spyros made the statue of Erkyna looking up over the surface in the middle of the river. The model was his own daughter and he showed us a drawing in his studio where a school class had drawn pictures of the sculpture and wrote under that: “The Myth of Erkyna is Spyros’ daughter…” That’s the way to relate and mix all of our impressions of myths and reality, cultural heritage and local groups, in the spring flood.

– Jonas Myrstrand (Sweden)

 

 

04 Feb 2019

Levadia Artists Research Residency

Curabitur sodales ligula in libero. Sed dignissim lacinia nunc. Curabitur tortor. Pellentesque nibh. Aenean quam. In scelerisque sem at dolor. Maecenas mattis. Sed convallis tristique sem. Proin ut ligula vel nunc egestas porttitor. Morbi lectus risus, iaculis vel, suscipit quis, luctus non, massa.

01 Feb 2019

The perfect wall

After lunch break, we hooked up with the local graffiti crew at Levadia. Always exciting meeting artists with the same passion, spray paint that is. And amazing how we connected straight away; I guess that when graffiti runs through your veins, it’s like a universal language when you meet other “writers” (graffiti artists). With the sun at its highest point we left for our city stroll. For me especially, the hunt for a canvas/wall was on. And there are plenty of great walls in Levadia! The potential for Street Art productions in this compact city is incredible. Lots of huge “blind” walls and all in perfect smooth concrete… “WALLhalla”!

Unfortunately tagging seems popular among Levadian kids. It’s almost everywhere. Sure I’ve got nothing against a well designed, aesthetic tag but mostly this wasn’t the case. Our group discussed this issue while we continued our exploration. “One way to counter illegal tagging is to provide a legal graffiti wall or space,” I suggested. A place where graffiti painters can practise their skills without the fear of being caught, this can result in higher level of artistry and mostly results in outgrowing the phase of simple tagging. It’s a “fight-fire-with-fire” concept, so to speak. Of course the locals were all in favour. Legal graffiti walls are mostly combined or near a local skatepark. Since the two sub-cultures are intertwined. We crossed the street… and there it was… a huge wall, in plain sight, near the riverbank, just outside the old city centre. This concrete surface was just screaming to be painted… I knew I had found… the perfect wall!

– Siegfried Vynck (Belgium)

 

<<back to activities

31 Jan 2019

The River Erkyna

It was a whirlwind introduction to Levadia and some of its citizens. A generous welcome awaited us led by the mayor showing us the tradition of Xenia – Greek hospitality at its finest! The week was spent meeting people, all of whom have had an impact on, or been impacted by the landscape, culture, history and traditions of Levadia and the Erkyna River in particular.

The river flows from high in the mountains, fed by multiple springs as it reaches the town. It then passes through old mills, man-made falls, locks, and under bridges until it relaxes into its natural pathway at the other side of town, gently flowing through an unfinished and unnamed public park. This unnamed park, sitting beside a giant unfinished government building and shows a town at a standstill. But the river is in constant flow, always squeezing through the barriers put in place by industrious humans over the centuries. Erkyna was there before the people of Levadia. It inspired myths and legends. How can we bring this powerful history back to life? How do we infuse the citizens of Levadia, through contemporary art, with the energy and power of the beautiful yet unstoppable Erkyna?

– Mary Conroy (Ireland)