School program: Telling Works

The relationship between weaving and storytelling, as well as the thread as metaphor of a narrative of life are highly present in folk stories and myths in many countries and cultures. In Greek mythology, this is depicted in Philomela’s and Penelope’s woven textiles, the contest between Athena and Arachne, Helen with her loom, as well as the threads of Ariadne and Klotho. All these stories associate the craft of weaving with an expression of particular ways of seeing the world along with female creativity. Woven threads intertwine to create a narrative that is developed within the process of making a fabric; therefore, when the creator chooses the threads and colors, and connects the knots, the final piece carries its history.

In this way, weaving and storytelling are a point of departure for Telling Works, which is a storytelling project combining fragments of materials entrusted by a number of documenta 14 artists with narratives that deepen our understanding of the way artworks are made and produce meaning.

In a workshop held by local arts educators and storytellers, school students trace the web of relationships between the formation of materials and the narratives that they weave.

For the Telling Works workshop, aneducation collaborates with six public schools in Athens.

Telling Works, workshop held by Eileen Botsford, 1st Experimental Senior High School “Gennadeio,” photo: Dimitris Parthimos

Telling Works, workshop held by Eileen Botsford, 1st Experimental Senior High School “Gennadeio”, photo: Dimitris Parthimos

Telling Works, workshop held by Sassa Voulgari, Experimental School of University of Athens (P.S.P.A.), Athens, photo: Dimitris Parthimos

Telling Works, Playroom, 70th Elementary School, Athens, photo: Dimitris Parthimos

Telling Works, Playroom, 35th Elementary School Exarchia, Athens

Telling Works, workshop with Eileen Botsford, 5th Elementary School of Dafni “Yiorgos Bouzianis”, Athens

Workshop #1, February 17, 2017
Artist educator: Eileen Botsford
School: 1st Experimental Senior High School “Gennadeio”

Inspired by a map of Ghana entrusted to aneducation by Ibrahim Mahama, Eileen Botsford creates a workshop based on keywords that relate to Mahama’s work while also reflecting on the idea of tracing personal routes and weaving different paths across Athens. The students make individual and group artworks in order to discuss the ways in which they experience the city in their everyday life.


Workshop #2, February 28, 2017
Storyteller: Sassa Voulgari
School: Experimental School of University of Athens (P.S.P.A.)

Sassa Voulgari creates a storytelling workshop beginning with indigo seeds and fabrics offered by Aboubakar Fofana. After a performance by Voulgari, who presents the artistic process of Fofana’s work, the group of high school students are invited to write their own stories and reflect on the tradition of natural indigo and textile manufacturing.


Workshop #3, March 6, 2017
Artist educators: Playroom
School: 70th Elementary School “Patroklos Karantinos”

Mora Davey’s notebook and Mary Zygouri’s found objects used as tools for weaving are the starting points for the artist educators Playroom. While encountering a number of artists that use yarn and knitting in their practices, students are encouraged to draw or write their reflections in personal notebooks. As a next step, the pupils then weave together everyday objects that they find in their classroom as a group artwork.


Workshop #4, March 10, 2017
Artist educator: Stelios Likotrafitis
School: 1st General Lyceum of Ayios Dimitrios (“Round School” of Zenetos)

Stelios Likotrafitis departs from Ibrahim Mahama’s jute sack to explore interlaced themes of production, trade, and economy with students. Relating to the process of weaving, each student uses different materials, such as threads, paper, cloths, and watercolors to create an abstract composition that reflects on the themes shared.


Workshop #5, March 13, 2017
Artist educators: Playroom
School: 35th elementary school of Exarchia

Mora Davey’s notebook and Mary Zygouri’s found objects used as tools for weaving are the starting points for the artist educators Playroom. While encountering a number of artists that use yarn and knitting in their practices, students are encouraged to draw or write their reflections in personal notebooks. Playroom also provides each pupil with a frame on which the students are asked to knit using multi-colored yarn.


Workshop #6, March 17, 2017
Artist educator: Eileen Botsford
School: 5th Elementary School of Dafni, “Yiorgos Bouzianis”

For the Telling Works workshop, Andreas Ragnar Kasapis offers a rotary dial telephone, which has personal significance in his life. Eileen Botsford asks the students to bring an object or material that is important to them. After a short introduction of the different objects, each pupil weaves the shape of their object on a board and then uses oil pastels to add color to the composition.

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