Reviews

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

artist

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.

Dorien Plaat

artist

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!

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.

Jacqueline Wijtenburg

Journalist, manager, Postural Integrator.

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 our 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.

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.

Summer art workshops in Greece | Art residencies

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