We are delighted to embark on S.permaroutsi-‐Arcadia project that deals with sustainability and self-‐sufficient agriculture and is part of a wider reconstructive project in a rural area of Greece.
We are now looking for artists and architects committed to issues of environmentalism and sustainability to develop ideas around ‘alternatives to austerity’ projects to contribute to rebuilding communities and promote relationships with Europe more positively. Additionally the project will demonstrate how artists and the creative industries can have a constructive and proactive role in environmentally aware reconstructive and sustainability projects.
We are open to projects and proposals in any medium but artists should have a genuine interest and proven track record in working with environmental issues and how to develop sustainability.
Artists should also have a sincere interest in working with local communities and how they can be engaged with art in a mutually beneficial way.
Artists from any countries are invited to send a proposal for site-‐specific outdoor works that should deal with issues such as how art can raise awareness about sustainable living within a rural environment and in particular how it might connect with the Routsi community.
Co-‐founder Dimitris Foundos provides some history and background to the project,
“Two consecutive fires on 2007 and 2012 burned the beautiful forest that surrounded and gave life to our ancestral village. These fires, combined with the economic crisis that had already spiralled out of control on 2009, seemed to take out our last breath and end our hopes for survival.
Through the generations, our village with its natural surroundings has always been a point of reference and love, one from which we all drew energy, fighting our everyday struggle for survival. The loss of the forest brought us in mourning and caused a stalemate.
The economic crisis brought upon us the beast of unemployment. We had to react in order to survive. That is when the reactive movement. was created, named after our village. It was an incentive of Dimitris Foundos, with the support of Panagiota Dimitropoulou.
We then met up with the professor agriculturist, Mr. Manikis, who, leading by example, inspired us with community actions in farms and introduced the idea of a “Natural Agriculture” and clean food. This brought upon new enthusiasm and, together with our friend Nikos Bouzinis, we started dreaming and planning again.
And so it began. We started with soil retention and planned what and where. More friends came on board. After the fire, the land is fertile and ready to be fertilized again with quality seeds.
However, we lacked the necessary funds. We wrote to people, motivating them, making suggestions. On Dimitris’ nameday in October 2012, each one of his friends adopted one or two trees. We started to prepare and sow the land. Lampros, Popi, Aggeliki, Kostas, George, Nikos, all our friends came. The village enjoyed newfound life, seeing new people. Everyone was willing to come to us with help and advice, passing on their experience. We enjoyed conversations with Thodoris Mpotsalas, a young man of 90 years, Kostas Androutsos, Katerina and others. Some of the people in the village looked upon us with disbelief. They could not believe that young people could be working on the soil.
Our actions inspired other friends and artists that wanted to participate and help. At the same time, they were inspired to create! Thanos is taking pictures and makes videos, sharing them with his friends. Lampros is carving on wood. Dimitris and Alexander play guitar.
It is time now to make our activities public. We inform our fellow citizens about natural agriculture, which encourages participation, artist expression, and new works of arts, suggestions and the way to realize them. We motivate, inform and coach students and young people of all ages. At the same time, new technologies (social media, digital marketing) give us new opportunities to produce and share information with similar groups in Europe and all over the world.”
In May this year, BCC’s Svetlana Kondakova participated in the S.permaroutsi: Art & Nature event as an initial step in the involvement of international artists. She found the experience incredibly productive and inspiring creating a collaborative installation inspired by the concept of community with Cypriot artist Andreas Kalli. This result was a sculptural installation using the most relevant found materials -‐ the burned trees from the landscape. The trees were shaped using a chainsaw to give the impression of figures and then balanced against each other in a gravity-‐ defying structure. This balance emphasises the core concept of community, how individual parts can do nothing and only by coming together achieve an impactful result. The tree ‘corpses’ were also thus given a new life through art. The sculpture stands in the 2-‐year old S.permaroutsi forest garden and acts as a gateway to the village, reminding locals and visitors of the importance of working together and the extraordinary potential of collaboration.
There were more than 20 participants in the event the biggest group yet, involving people from all walks of life. The workshops included a talk about local mythology, an introduction to permaculture and a seed-‐bomb making class. We also helped to build a damn and install a pressure pump to supply one of the gardens with water.
The biggest achievement was perhaps the relationship built with the local villagers. Previously, the majority of the locals were apprehensive about Dimitris’ project and gave him little support. Having seen the dedication and effort contributed by so many volunteers (including one who came all the way from Scotland) they now beginning to understand the important impact that it is making on the whole area.
The Artist Brief
The artists selected for this art project will create their artworks during a 5-‐day artist in residency in Routsi, Arcadia, from 28th October -‐ 1st November 2015. We expect to select up to four artists based on the proposals received. The selected artists should aim to work with community residents where possible to create work that will raise awareness about environmental and sustainability issues, develop community pride and attract more visitors to the area. Artists will work alongside the other international artists.
Artworks selected for this project will be site-‐specific and located in public spaces such as land around existing village or other sites selected with the project organisers. The artworks must be interactive and encourage learning by doing; for example the artwork could function as a play area or communal outdoor seating space or have interactive educational components. Any sculptural installation could be made with local natural materials or recycled materials that are sustainable and not harmful to the environment. The artworks should be made to last for one year or more, but be biodegradable so that they can decompose over time and be recycled into the environment.
Your proposal should include:
- An artist statement demonstrating your commitment to working with issues of environmentalism, sustainability and community (max. 400 words)
- Any images of similar or relevant previous works
- A description of the work you propose to do in Routsi with any relevant diagrams or sketches as appropriate
- Please also indicate your ability to self-‐fund, see section on ‘Funding’
|1st September 2015||Funding Campaign Launched on Indiegogo|
|21st September 2015 (10am)||Artist Proposal submission deadline|
|24th September 2015||Artists selected|
|29th September 2015||Flights to Athens bought and reservations made|
|29th October -‐ 1st November||Event takes place|
Black Cube Collective and S.permaroutsi are now a collaborative partnership, building a joint future of opportunities and sustainability.
BCC will initiate an Indiegogo campaign to raise the funds for the project in order to be able to pay for all of your travel, accommodation and subsistence (2-‐3 meals a day while in Routsi) in Greece worth approximately £470 per artist.
We cannot guarantee to raise the necessary amount so when you apply please indicate how much of your travel costs you would be able to afford on your own. For example, if we only raise 50% of our target budget, would you be able and willing to spend approximately £235 yourself?
If you are successful in your application but we do not raise enough funds to take you, we will unfortunately have to cancel your trip. That is why it is important for you to get involved and spread the word about our campaign as it could make the difference between you being able to go or not!
Applicants should actively publicise and engage with the Indiegogo campaign to reach our target amount! We are confident that with your help and support we will reach or even exceed our target budget!
The campaign will be Launched on the 1st of September and end on the 15th of October. By the 30th of September you will be able to find out how much of your expenses we will be able to cover.
Read more about the partnership and the fundraising campaign on our website and get in touch if you are interested to be part of the project in any capacity.
Deadline for proposals is September 18th 2015 at 5.00pm send to email@example.com If you have any questions at all, please contact us at the same address.
For details of the fundraising campaign please go to our website www.blackcubecollective.org