- Artist - Engraving
- About The artist
- Artist's Resume
- About the Program
- About the Artwork
- Artist's Previous work
1. Tell us a few things about yourself …
My name is Elena Provata, I come from Corfu. I left the island in 2006 in order to get into the School of Fine Arts. In 2007 I begun my studies on the Department of Applied and Visual Arts, at the University of Western Macedonia in Florina. I graduated with a degree in painting – 2nd painting laboratory, with the professor Yannis Kastritsis- and I specialized in engraving, which I attended and worked alongside painting, over the last two years mainly.
Currently I'm working as a teacher of Artistic Education in the Primary Education, in Rhodes and my base is at Thessaloniki.
2. What materials do you usually use for your creations ?
The last two years I deal mainly with engraving and the materials I use is wood and linoleum. Sometimes I choose to work with dry etching on plexiglass. This (choice of materials) is happening because in order for one to work on various techniques of engraving, you must be provided with the with the right resources, such as the press -the most important tool to print – which is what we want to present. The manual labor of the production of a piece, is bringing me closer to my nature and nature as well. What's impressive in engraving, is the fact that the sense of rebirth, evolution and desperation, coexist. Time is what matters, there's constant waiting, that strengthens the suspense for what the outcome will be.
3. Up till now are there any significant changes in the means you use to express yourself ?
There haven't been any significant changes in my materials, or perhaps to the idea I keep having in mind in order to walk through the time of creating. It's just that as I continue working, I realize even more what I'm trying to record as data on my paper, which remains my main material through the years.
I move constantly… The standard is everything that has to do with my work. I have realized that as I'm working, it is as if I'm doing some self-knowledge exercises, that are helping me to gradually realize what is the thing I'm saying and what are the things that prevent me from seeing. My works arise from experiential situations. I focus on these situations either in order to procreate, or to judge, or to say (to do).
4. What concerns you in your art ? What are your influences ?
Lately I use animals in my themes, in painting and engraving as well. Animals keep me grounded, they're causing my a feeling of humanity. Animals exist in my experiences and in my memory. That's because I grew up in an environment like that – small village on a island, with rural life and freedom to move around.
I'm not using animals because I want to show this love connection, but because they symbolize for me things that are natural, primary. Things that just exist, without being cheeky and simply run their circle. I'm creating characters based on them and I'm trying to humanize them, because I believe that one has to work with everything he has. I have these experiences, this is my material, this space and I'm working with them the way I believe, in order to bring out this whole experience in front to me, into the present and into the piece.
5. Choose one of your older artwork and describe it to us.
’’Speechless’’ linotype in paper, 1/1, dimensions: 70cmX70cm
I choose to describe the project entitled '' speechless '', because I believe that through this piece I can make someone understand, everything I've written above. Generally the creatures I create, are doing something in a symbolic way, that is to say that the theme is not only what it seems and in this case this zoomorphic creature that resembles to a goat, as well his act – this creature has to be silent.
(It's a zoomorphic creature, it has breasts and a body that resemble to a goat. With the one hand it closes its mouth and the other hand is suspended.
I don't know if the hands are connected to the body for sure. If the hands are his.
It's certainly a barrier for doing the things he wants – the mouth is the breath, the voice).
1. Have you participated to any other artistic-residential programs before ?
I can't say I have participated to similar programs like this (Lhi-Lna), but I have cooperated from time to time with lots of artists from abroad and local artists as well. This has happened through some journeys I took with my school, as well as for professional purposes. The character of those experiences was residential (journey- mosaic-painting, with the mosaic workshop of my school in Palestine, for a month).
2. What were your expectations from the program, before arriving to Aridaia ?
First of all I was a bit anxious, because a lot of people were participating and I was worried about how we'd work there, how we would react with each other –… but in the end we couldn't leave the place and rend each other… I also wanted to be consistent and serious regarding the result of my work, which had to accomplish within a certain time frame. I knew that it was going to be a wonderful place, with awesome scenery. I didn't know much about its history (expert from some general stuff), but I couldn't imagine that I would see the prosperous life so close to me.
3. Which places have you visited during the 5 day program ?
Truth is, I visited as many places as I could, I wouldn't miss a chance. But I dealt more with Mavropotamos and the Bridge of Alloros.
Generally we visited some villages of the area, such as Aetochori and Archangel, in order to visit some Monasteries and Churches of the area – Church of St. Dimitrios, the Monastery of Michael Archangel. The baths, which we duly honored, the waterfall of Kounoupitsa, some walking trails in Notia and mountain Voras – Kaimaktsalan- on the Black Forest. It was quite tiring, because of the little time we had in order to visit all these, but we wouldn't miss a day for exploring the place. Those are the places I recall from my memory, but there were a lot more. I couldn't forget of course the museum in Aridaia…
4. Which were your first impressions of the area, during the 5day program ?
I believe that Almopia is a very "useful" place, in a universal way of saying this. When you start noticing the area around, you begin to understand that it is an area that a lot of people has tried to possess and it is quite obvious from the fact that it is a fertile land. So it would be impossible not to have been inhabited, or pass unnoticed through centuries of history.
Water is everywhere around and in every form, from a dewdrop, to a river, to a stalactite in the cave etc.
5. Fout months after the end of the program, how would you describe the spirit of the place ?
It's a place that invites life and gives birth to life.. – I'll say no more than that.
6. Is there a special moment/incident from your stay in Almopia, that you'd like to share ?
I truly can't pick just one moment. The thing that remained is the whole experience and the relations we created with each other , through out this program and its conditions.
This whole experience is now a moment that is spinning through my mind from time to time and when that happens I'm having positive thoughts about it.
1. What was your inspiration for your art piece, during the 10day program ?
I worked with Mavropotamos (Blackriver) or Almopaios river (as it is also known), as well as with the bridge of Aloros, which is also called bridge of Alexander the Great. I was interested in creating, artistically, the sense of the road, about that area. So road… road means passage, transportation of materials, and of facts as well, through time and space. I thought that the river is a road… it is in fact unstoppable and as it flows, it carries along the history of the surrounding area and his own… The river unites but it can be an obstacle as well. Similarly in this case, this bridge, after all these centuries of substantial use, it has ended up being an obstacle to the river flow and a monument for the man, who's no longer stepping on it.
2. How would you describe the process of the making of your piece ?
In the beginning I was confused about the image of the place, as well as for the theme I'd choose. During the next step, I merg and define all that information. I think that I dealt with this situation as if I was a craftman, who would want his work to be steady and longlasting. For this I tried to do my best, so that the result-artwork, would be a strong one and that it would meet my expectations, as well as the data I chose to use through their conception and development.
Concerning my materials, I was determined from the start, that I would create an engraving and that the matrix of it would be wood, as it finally happened.
When I finally decided that my theme would be about the flow-road-passage, I didn't want to stray much from that, because I didn't want to much info into my piece, otherwise it would be chaotic.
Finally, in my work you can see the "created"- god creature Rodias = it's the flow that it's part of the bridge. Both the bridge and the river are basically a bridge, which doesn't have any reason do exist if there's no river and without it's ability to connect. The bridge becomes one with its surroundings, because it carries the place's history..
3. In which way is your art-work connected to Almopia ?
The artwork is called Rodias: Rodias is the one that flows (flow). Bridge: connection, touch. This artistic composition is referring to Mavropotamos and the old bridge of Aloros. The water is the fountain of life – in Almopia, as I mentioned before, water is everywhere and in every form. In this piece I'm dealing with water as a living part of the area's history, as it's organically connected with the lives of the people. Water, bridge, perrenial tree, the thing that stands but then it get lost, but it's leaving roots behind, it leaves a mark on the landscape, it becomes one with human behaviour, a road and an obstacle as well, that is bridged with human labor.
Podias ( main artwork)
Wood engraving 1/1
4. What are your expectations from the digital exhibition ?
Every art piece is a public discource, but first of all it's an act that contains emotion, conclusions, politics. More actually it is an opinion of everything that the artist has to say. And the artist is the person that's responsible for creating his art piece, no matter its form.
I can't expect something in particular from the audience. The thing is that if the viewer feels that this piece of art expresses him , then he'll become an indirect shareholder of a situation. Of a situation that he's never experienced himself , but will receive through the image. I expect the viewer to become a dudge, who will dudge the art-piece clearly and it will gradually become an experience for him.
5. Do you think that art can be a way for local development ?
As I've written above, an art piece is a public discource. I personally believe that an art piece is a diary… every piece is a page, it is recording everything that one person has known in his life, in a material way, through his mind and soul. Maybe this point of view is somehow romantic, but at least it the way I function. Every piece is an exercise for self-awareness.
By the time that an artist, as well a viewer, is able to see into an artwork things about himself, about some inner parts of himself and society, then art could be used a way for promoting local development.
Art is not a sterilized object or a blank transaction. There's creativity in art and creativity is the driving force for art. Creativity is the actual development. Through creativity one can become a better observer and can go through life/society with less insecurities. This means that this person can do more in order to drive his life to the thing he desires, so art is an important effort fro everyday renewal. An idea is actually the beginning for everything (apart from inevitable things). The important thing is, what kind of idea this is and how it will be accomplished.