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Gonou Irini, GREECE: Tamata... tinny pending wishes

Irini Gonou is a visual artist born in Athens. She graduated from the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts and from the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, where she lived for eleven years. She has shown her artwork in thirty solo exhibitions in Greece, France, Belgium, Germany, UK, USA and Norway. Her artwork is included in several museum collections, municipal galleries, private museums and foundations.

 Interested also in the anthropology of art, her visual explorations embrace a broad span of mediterranean cultures. During the last few years she turned her interest to the healing and protective powers of the written word.  She has conducted numerous workshops in Athens, as well as in Cyprus, France, New York (at Columbia University) and in Begen, Norway.

Irini lives and works in Athens.

Tamata... tinny pending wishes 

Tamata are small representations of human figures, animals, objects on tinny metal sheets, used as thanking, votive offerings following the greek popular tradition from its early days.

The word tamata means promises, it comes from the ancient greek word anathimata which means vows. They can be made of any thin metal sheet- the most expensive are those made of silver sheets- and they were hanged in the sacred place where the vow was made. These secular “votive offerings” which were found also in many other ancient civilizations remain active in this day and age to express a wish or to offer thanks for its fulfillment.

 Inspired by these special representations we will create our own tamata, activating them in a contemporay artistic environment. In parallel, we will prepare their specific background support with naturally dyied fabric or paper, elaborating a composition in which they are integrated.