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Mona Wolseley

artist/art educator

What did this artist residency give you?

It gave me so many things I did not expect.

As a human, it provided a haven from stress, an opportunity to stop, be surrounded by beauty (the place and its inhabitants both human and otherwise!) and the chance to breathe. I don’t know how to put it into words. IRIS was a much needed haven for me. I needed isolation, quiet and peace - I’d not realized how exhausted, how weary my soul was, till I got there. I felt nurtured in every way, from the comfort of my room, the stillness and beauty of the surrounding landscape and to my incredible hosts and their furry family. The meals were fantastic - I was completely spoiled with the food and wine and amazing company.


The structure of the residency was wonderfully flexible and at the same time had a comforting consistency that led to productive patterns in my practice. It worked really well for me. The studio set up was fantastic both as an individual studio and as a shared spaced with other residents - I enjoyed both more than I expected. Annette’s knowledge and experience about creativity, artistic thought and practice and creative education in general is prolific and highly evident in the way she coached me though my residency. I constantly felt like I had a clear path for each day of my residency, each idea and concept we discussed was met with objective dialogue, thoughtful questioning and insightful evaluation techniques that I, as an art teacher will try to implement myself!

I walked away with pieces of work I was proud of - pieces that have now become hallmarks of this rebirth phase of my journey and I will treasure them. They will be proudly displayed in my space to remind me of where I am going.

Samira Cherif


What did this artist residency give you?

I spent two weeks at Iris Art Centre in Afidnes last summer, and I don’t regret it.

I had a room with all comforts for myself and free access to the whole house, to the garden, the swimming pool and to an entire atelier full of supplies at my disposal. The quiet natural surroundings, combined with good music often coming from the house, a huge library with lots of books on different art styles and interesting chats with Annette and her husband, offered me an ideal context to reflect om my artistic development, stimulate new ideas and motivate me in my creative process.

Annette was really good at both encouraging me in pursuing my own artistic goals, understanding and following my inspiration and providing me with useful practical advice.

Last but not least, I could eat everyday healthy, homemade Greek food with ingredients coming directly from the garden around the house or from the areas nearby!


After a few months and back to my daily routines up in Norway, I still read my notes from those two weeks and find in them inspiration to go on with my artistic projects.

I really look forward to the next opportunity to spend some time at Iris Art Centre.

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Jane Mitchell

artist, Head of Visual Arts, Seoul International school

What did this workshop give you?

This workshop gave me a new way of approaching my work. Annette condensed the ‘Collage’ and ‘Artistic Voice’ workshops into a tailor made 6-day course which was outstanding. I was privy to a series of films, books and ideas in a setting with one to one instruction in the mornings and ample time for studio work during the day. Working systematically through the morning instruction I made personal artworks and then we evaluated together in the evenings. Annette does not micro-manage but rather challenges you with a series of questions which provokes you to make work that may be ‘outside’ of your comfort zone. Upon completion of the course I had come up with many connections, notes, ideas, and a plethora of inspirational words and images for future artworks!

I was inspired by the ‘experience’ of the Iris Art Center. The program was very flexible, and able to be adapted to your particular interests and requirements. I stayed 6 days with my husband and two children aged 15 and 9, we were all immediately welcomed as part of the family. Annette and her husband Adonis are a wealth of knowledge …having meals together with them and engaging in intellectual discussions was so inspiring. Annette is a practicing artist; her artwork was hung in her in-house gallery and on many of her walls and studio space. It was, simply put stunning and being surrounded by her thought-provoking, sensual collages was visually stimulating.

The methodology was unique in that it challenged me to find knowledge from the inside, rather than searching the internet, I began to search my ‘innernet’. I was able to find a new way of approaching my art-making practice. Annette’s feminist ideas were powerful and we engaged in many refreshing conversations around this topic.  As a woman artist and art teacher of twenty year’s experience, I found this course to be very empowering. On day 4 I had a wonderful break-through in the Artistic Voice workshop. I feel the progress I made using my new-found skills will assist me in making a new body of work with a concise and meaningful personal artist statement.

Annette is a fountain of knowledge, having studied at MICA, it was obvious she has developed and refined her program over many years. The program of study is systematic and clear, with excellent resources that are yours to keep. Her book outlines her research and program with excellent teaching exemplars and a clear development of her system, so that when you leave you can continue to work in that way. She provides excellent artistic models to highlight ideas during the course, leaving room for flexibility should you be interested in a different direction or tangent during lessons.

The house and surrounding landscape are stunning, Adonis took care of my families every need whilst I was able to work in peace during the day and share in the wonderful conversation and superb home cooking from Annette. This workshop with all meals provided is incredible value for money, it is clear that the course is run with passion and love!

Shannon Brinkley

artist/art educator

What did this artist residency give you?

This residency gave me the necessary time and focus away from home/work life to really sink into ideas and media experimentation. Surrounding myself with my own work and ideas in a large space was a great starting point - to look at everything at once, but also in concentrated sections. It was also really wonderful to re-engage in discussing artwork/ideas and looking to other artists/research for more depth.

The methodology, at first, felt a little awkward because I have never experienced any sort of art like this one-on-one. However, the amount of time I was given to freely roam after being given a starting point was very ample and this worked well. Starting with a specific focus in the morning really set a tone for the day. The physical setup was amazing!

I felt like a lot of work went into preparing for me, looking at my work and drawing connections to the ideas/work of others. I really appreciated this personalization. The conversations held were focused and allowed for many different avenues to develop from the same initial concentration. Over time, this also allowed for my starting point to evolve and become something more substantial. I am still developing my content and ideas, of course, but I feel like the coaching helped me to re-situate my own understanding of my work into a much more functional place.


What did this artist residency give you?

I left with a sense of having something deep inside me gently tickled into being. Perhaps a new found confidence that I have what it takes to create visual things of significance and beauty and that they will be mediums to express myself in the world more fully and be seen more fully. I also felt that I could integrate visual arts into my work life somehow. That art could be a bridge to my essential self and to teach people around me. I also understood how important it is for me to invest in creating art; to create an actual studio for it in my home and to dedicate time for exploring it in my diary.

I felt hugely inspired by your encouragement that I have innate ability and potential and that if it can be imagined, it can be done. I trusted your view. Seeing your beautiful art hung up in your magnificent home inspired a sense of confidence that you know what it takes to create art and make dreams come true. Your natural exuberance and enthusiasm for great new things was so nice to be around. And seeing how you freely flow in a space where your personal home life and your life's work integrate. I felt a resonance with that.

The methodology and set-up worked for me all the way. The one-on-one coaching in the morning, where you were open to anything I brought to ou
r discussion. The time to work on my art by myself. The reflective feedback at the end of the day that helped me to learn more. The two large studios that were at the same time intimate. Also sharing meals together helped us tune into each other as we progressed.

I find you a Master teacher and Creator Annette. I felt you prepared for me with much thoughtfulness and I loved feeling like you could guide me as I was hoping as well as give me the freedom I needed to find my own way. I loved having your notes to take home. And your choice of movies to show us in the evening was fantastic.

Jacqueline Wijtenburg

journalist, manager,

Postural Integrator.

What did this artist residency give you?

Annette has the talent to feel what you need and at what time. She is open to suggestions as well. At the same time she protects the process you are in for. It was a pragmatic way of working. Annette felt what I needed and at what pace. That is very clever. Annette is highly educated and knows what she is talking about. Being an artist herself, she understands the language.

The location is isolated. That can be a disadvantage but also an advantage: there is no direct distraction and you are into your work all the time. The house is absolutely beautiful and they are welcoming. There is a swimming pool

and you can always retreat to your own space where there is a fridge and coffee or tea. The meals are healthy. The grapes, salads, olives and wine from their own garden are delicious depending on the time of year of course which one of these are available.

If you do not mind being in somebody else's house you are more than ok. You have the freedom to go your own way in the house. There is a small gym and a home cinema with a lot of films on art subjects and artists.

The area where you can do your art is big and very nice and light. You can visit Athens by train and metro easily. The train station is nearby; Annette dropped me of at the station whenever I wanted. It would have been a 25 minute walk. The same distance as a walk to the village. The surroundings are beautiful!


Ansella Post

fashion designer/artist

What did this Developing Artistic Voice workshop give you?

This workshop gave more confidence, inspiration and the necessary tools to develop myself further as an artist. The whole experience inspired me! The surroundings, the hosts, the way Annette shows you how to get to the core of your inner thoughts and how to visualize them. Also the visit of a local Greek artist who gives you suggestions of how to better your work was very helpful.

I thought the methodology worked perfect for me. It gives you a structural approach to gather your thoughts and make them more clear and also gives you the opportunity to go more in depth and really start digging! The way of teaching was perfect for me. Annette is a very calm and open person who gives you the feeling you can tell her anything without being scrutinized.


I also liked that there was a clear structure of the day. A programme in the morning and after the freedom to explore more about the material you just learned or do entirely something different. I also liked the evaluation at the end of the day. It gives you the opportunity to ask for advice how you further can develop your ideas when you get stuck.

The location is gorgeous and quite remote which is prefect if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and want to focus on your work. The accommodation and meals were amazing! All in all it was for me a very balanced and insightful experience.


Chris O'Leary

artist, lecturer in Communication, and Art and Design

What did this artist residency give you?

The residency gave me much more than I was expecting. Annette helped me to look more clearly at my project and understand the work in more depth. Through Annette’s teaching, I was able to clarify a way forward for my project which I have been working on for many years. Her mentoring let me remember aspects of my practice that I had forgotten about but which are very  important to my motivation in producing my art work. In turn this brought me to a re-evaluation of the way in which I had been working and which had resulted in a kind of creative blockage or stalemate. I was then able to plan a way forward for a long term project which had stalled quite significantly.

I was not familiar with Annette’s methodology but I was impressed by her programme for me which was both comprehensive,  imaginative and in-depth. The programme was more rigorous than I expected and in a  good way! Because of this, I found myself able to start moving ahead in my work almost  immediately, albeit in a way I hadn't expected. The studio space was very pleasant and  was well equipped and comfortable. I also had access to the arts library, art films and a huge  collection of magazines for visual reference and collage. Annette also introduced me to  artists working in the Athens area. They very generously gave me their time and opened  up their studios to me which was very interesting and encouraging. Annette also hosted  other artists whilst I was there and I enjoyed some interesting evenings and conversations  with them.  

Annette’s teaching style is both directive, structured (something I needed) and intuitive. I  felt that she responded perfectly to the statement I had sent her about what I hoped to  achieve from my residency. She is knowledgable and disciplined as a teacher, and also  flexible and responsive to the way I needed to work.  Maybe because she is  also an artist, Annette’s acute understanding of the working process enabled us to engage  in an almost therapeutic relationship with regards to my own relationship to my project. I also really appreciated the input of Adonis, who helped me to understand some of the  literary aspects of my practice in relation to the work of several Greek poets I was  interested in. I came in to the residency with a ball of complexity that I felt overwhelmed by  and I left feeling clarity and purpose in moving forward with a somewhat transformed  project. I cannot thank Annette enough for her insight, professionalism and care. I am very  confident in returning to the Iris Arts Centre in future to work with Annette in resolving any  issues I might have with my work. 

The location and property is beautiful and is close to a train station which takes you to Athens in around 30 minutes. The surrounding area has been affected by the recent  terrible fires but is still beautiful and the property has lovely and well kept gardens and a  very nice pool for hot days. The accommodation is calm and very clean and comfortable  with easy access to the well equipped studios and extensive arts library. Annette showed  me several arts films in this space, which was enjoyable and something I wasn't expecting.  The meals Annette produced were worthy of the best restaurants in Athens! She seems to  magically produce these amazing meals and is a first class cook as well as highly skilled  as an educator. It was the first time I have ever taken photographs of my dinner, which  were like small works of art in themselves. Annette is a great hostess and seemed to eerily  anticipate exactly what I needed and when. This aspect of my residency also exceeded  expectations. During my stay, I felt very cared for and this also was more than I was  expecting. Annette is a very generous and resourceful person both in her teaching practice  and in caring for her residents. 

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Maria Vassiliou

Digital Marketer

Content Creator


What did this collage workshop give you?

Calmness and clarity.

This workshop brought a new level of calmness and restored my internal desire to create. Following a few years of artist block and external limitations to indulge my creativity, this workshop rejuvenated my sense of creative freedom and expression. I’m grateful that I was able to essentially play and experiment again with my art in a space that felt safe and familiar – something Annette ensures her studio provides. Everything was a spark of inspiration. The abundance of reference material, the art displayed on the walls, the stories shared during dinner, the shared meals throughout the day, the landscape, Annette’s extensive knowledge and her openness to introduce you to others, the history of the land…. I could go on. The entire atmosphere has been curated to inspire you.

I personally valued the conscientious effort made to harmoniously balance the structure of the program with personal time for the artists. I felt like my need to both explore and be creative was encouraged and honoured the entire time. Overall, I really enjoyed the structure and freedom that came with the program. Everything felt really well put together and thoughtful.

The teachings were very condensed, with lots of valuable knowledge shared. The additional feminist lens that framed some of the teachings was also really appreciated. As lots of the information is condensed, I believe that this workshop could be broken out into a two-week session. This would allow participants to more in-depthly explore discussed topics over the course of 1-2 days. I noticed for myself, that I would feel inspired by a certain topic the following day after being able to sleep and contemplate the presented concepts. 


The meals were heavenly. Flavours ranged from sweet to savoury and everything between. Annette is also incredibly accommodating to any limitations and restrictions you may have regarding certain foods.

The location of the residency is stunning. I recall one moment taking a swim in the pool, and feeling a sense of disbelief that I was swimming against a mountain backdrop. Truly incredible and awe-inspiring. Everything was kept neat and tidy, and great care was taken to ensure one’s personal comfort in their respective spaces.

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Kim Kitchen



What did this artist residency give you?

Focus, direction, guidance, care, consideration, space and uninterrupted time to engage in the development of my art practice. The countryside of Greece and watching the sun rise every day. The sounds of cows and their metal bells, roosters off in the distance, birds welcoming in Spring. The hills that came alive with green growth after being decimated by fire. The warm hospitality of being at Iris Art Centre that immediately felt like home.

Having my comforts met with accessible everything in your home. The meals you so lovingly prepared from farm to table.


My wanderings about Greece In Search of She. To stand before her, the SHE’s of female archetypes, embodying the divine feminine. She who upholds the rites of the natural world. Her powerful presence woven into my daily life, pure essence from the long ago. The excavations and finds of the Bronze Age, the earliest of Cycladic marble figurines among other prestige items re-charged me with possibility and strength.  


During my two week residency I experienced daily Annette’s methodology that provided such clarity of direction. A pathway lit up, encouraging me to dive deep into accessing my own internal visual language.

What I received reached beyond expectations. The journey that Iris Art Centre provided, Annette’s sharing of process, guiding, stretching and energizing my route, the published workbook that permeates women’s narrative and experience of art making - acutely unveiling. The location, accommodation and meals are excellent, outstanding, exceptional! Annette you who are the birch tree, able to withstand the winds, bending so beautifully to recognize and meet the needs of residency participants is truly a gift. Your honouring of each individuals unique process, your unwavering flexibility for what will work best day to day I sincerely appreciate and admire. Deep gratitude for tending to this most important work!

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Deborah Steinthal


What did this artist residency give you?

So much! Ability to see things through new lenses. Renewed connections with my heart and right brain. Courage and energy to move into new mediums, styles, realms. New friendships/connection with some amazing women.  Peaceful, safe surroundings needed to rebirth my artistic inclinations. Amazing meals, stories and hospitality by Annette and her husband. A wave of productivity during and after the residency. Direction. Kim (the other artist), invaluable, critical feedback from Annette and her artist colleagues; all the tools and examples provided by Annette’s amazing process.

Being a process person myself, Annette’s process accelerated my learning and awareness in ways I did not quite fathom.  Open access to her studio and materials; the local scene and artist colleagues – was icing on the cake. The coaching, daily, just in time – really does wonders in building the courage to stretch and reach for new horizons.  Could be more critical/insights in nature; less about solutions.


The location, accommodation and meals: Don’t change anything!  Perfection! Your capacity for hospitality and generosity (of time, supportive resources, personal stories, friends, etc) are simply amazing. Annette, you have the ability, content and experience base to present invaluable and unique materials.  



Phoebe jamieson


What did this artist residency give you?

Clarity and focus. I found the week to be full of inspiring ideas, activities and discussion.
The segment that stood out the strongest for me, was when we delved into Abstract. The course work Annette put together really unlocked the creative direction I was seeking.

The methodology was brilliant! I find myself delving back into the book when I feel stuck or need direction; tackling one of the exercises brings back clarity and drives my curiosity. I really connected with Annette’s coaching style. I enjoyed how she challenged me to explore new ways to approach my work, while also sensing when a new approach was needed.


I found the peacefulnes of the location, perfect to immerse myself in my art without distraction, the accomodation was comfortable and well appointed, and the food was outstanding.


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Sirje Rattus

Journalist, Tarot reader

What did the Tarot/Astrology Workshop give you?

It gave me extra self confidence. Lots of good ideas and inspiration. Some good tips, how to dive inside myself. The overall atmosphere was inspiring. But those visualisations – they were the best.

I loved methodology. It was very clear. Enough tips and information. But not too much. The studio is very nice and well equipped. The coaching was brilliant. Super supportive, at the same time I got a lot of freedom.  

I loved the area and the nice village vibe. The room was very nice. And food... - the best you can imagine.

I loved my tarot / astrology / art program. In my opinion it was a super good way to dive into the world of symbols and archetypes. 



Vanessa Mishkit

Writer, collage artist

What did the Collage Workshop give you?

My time at the Iris Art Centre was absolutely perfect. As I’ve told everyone since my return, my experience was transformative. I had no idea what to expect from such a workshop/retreat as it was my first time participating in one, but it will become a regular practice of mine. Fortunately and/or unfortunately, all future retreats will be held to a very high bar.

The morning lectures were very informative and inspired my creativity. Annette gave just the right amount of history, theory, instruction of technique and most importantly the freedom and independence that encouraged and enabled us all to explore our own imagination and discover our OWN creative practice. The studio was stocked with an abundance of supplies, but the beautiful grounds—its trees, flowers and curious array of animals provided me the material for more exceptionally meaningful work.

Pepi is a truly fantastic cook and kept the house fresh and inviting at all times. 

Finally, I cannot compliment and thank Adonis and Annette enough for their hospitality and generosity. They shared not only their home and family, but their life stories and rich experiences. I will remember my week with them fondly… always.


Summer art workshops in Greece | Art residencies
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