Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

Louise Bourgeois, Maman (1999) | Installation View | SNFCC, Athens, Greece, 2022 | Photograph: Natalia Tsoukala © The Easton Foundation



Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

10/04/2022 - 06/11/2022

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 Press Release >

On the occasion of the the iconic sculpture Maman by Louise Bourgeois brought to the Greek public by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center and NEON, a rich program of educational workshops was designed and implemented, made possible by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation’s grant for SNFCC’s operations and programming.

The primary objective of these workshops is to facilitate a deeper understanding and insight into the work of Bourgeois and the themes it reflects, while also introducing contemporary art to less in-the-know audiences.

Workshops for children

Sculpture Workshop: Making Sculptures, Louise Bourgeois-style

In this sculpture workshop, children will seek to unravel the threads of Bourgeois’s artistic life and create their own sculptures, inspired by her broader oeuvre.

They will be focusing on three important periods of her life (first period: human figures; second period: different materials; third period: closed indoor spaces). The sculpture Maman will serve as the starting point for every workshop, seeing as the spider was a theme the artist worked on for about 50 years.

Participants will get to know these different periods through pictures and drawings, the different materials Bourgeois used, as well as the symbolisms she chose based on the experiences of her childhood.

In this way, children will be introduced to her work, and, through a state of fragmentariness, they will create works resulting from their own emotions (fear, anger, joy), thus discovering a world where art is directly linked to life.

For children aged 7 to 10

On Sunday, April 10, May 8, June 12

11:00–13:00, Esplanade

Design and Implementation: Vassilis Gerodimos, visual artist

Workshop Support: Lydia-Elena Vairaktaraki, visual artist

Art Game: The spider who traveled the world 

How is such a massive sculpture constructed? What material is it made of? How is it transported? In one piece, or taken apart in pieces? And how is it reassembled afterwards? Does it fit inside museums, or do some have to place it outdoors? How many countries have hosted the giant spider thus far? With what other significant artworks has it come into contact during its travels? Did Bourgeois always accompany her spider everywhere? When did Bourgeois make her first spider? Have you seen the spider in another part of the world? What happened once at the Guggenheim Museum?

An art game designed to present information about the journey of this grand sculpture around the world, while also helping children to become better acquainted with the work of Louise Bourgeois and the museums of the world!

At the end, children will build their own small-scale artwork, to be exhibited at their own impromptu museum, in their room or anywhere else they please.

For children aged 5 to 8

Saturday, May 30; Sunday, May 15, and June 5

11:00–12:30, Esplanade

Design – Implementation: Playroom (Ioanna Gouzeli, Aggeliki Bozou)

Drawing Workshop: Guess what it looks like

In this drawing and observation workshop we draw inspiration from nature and Louise Bourgeois’s Maman, as well as from a series of drawings/prints of the same artist that belong to the collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. Employing natural materials (tree branches, stones), paper and colored pencils, we create shapes and forms and capture them on paper.

The workshop’s aim is to familiarize us with the form of the spider, which will gradually lead to exploring our relationship with nature and our place in it.

For children aged 8 to 12

Saturday, April 16, May 7 and 21, June 4

17:00–18:30, Esplanade

Design – Implementation:  Antigone Michalakopoulou, visual artist, architect, art teacher

Sculpture Workshop for adults: Emotion as a tool for large-scale artworks

A sculpture workshop revolving around large-scale artworks and how these relate to our emotions and bodies.

Through the work of Bourgeois, we see how large-scale sculpture surrounds the viewer, causing him or her to physically experience emotions, at times repressed ones: intimacy, fear, affinity, isolation, desire. Bourgeois’s sculptures teach us something valuable: the fact that emotions persist, they surround us; and though it may sometimes be difficult to put them into words, they can be expressed as forms.

In this workshop, the aforementioned concepts are implemented through the technique of the scale model, as an experimental tool for expression of the form and a study of the large-scale artwork. Bourgeois culminates in Maman gradually, through a process of negotiating body and space. Participants of the workshop are invited to explore their own feelings through compositions that can act as small sculptures or mockups for large-scale works. The workshop’s objective is to understand key principles of large-scale art through an immersive experience.

To this end, the workshop will focus on one emotion per meeting, in order to examine the inner self of both Bourgeois and the participants, in conversation with the artworks that will be produced. Fear, anticipation, affection, loneliness, and desire are the series of emotions that will take shape as objects.

At the same time, the workshop will analyze basic principles of large-scale sculpture, in order to clarify how an object can function as a small sculpture as well as a mockup for a piece of public art. Participants will experiment with a variety of materials, simple and pliable, such as textile and clay, which will be combined with found objects to create the sculptural compositions. Participants may also bring along their own objects that they would like to incorporate into the emotion-artwork they will produce.

For adults

Wednesday, April 13, May 4 and 18, June 1 and 15

18:00–20:00, Esplanade

Design – Implementation: Stefania Strouza, visual artist

Workshop Support: Elina Loukou, architect