An Interview With: Athena Gronti

Hey, how are you? Having ups and downs like most of us, I suppose. And how are you? Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself?

Sure! My name is Athena, I’m from Athens but based in Rotterdam, where I share a plant-filled apartment with my partner and our two cats. I am an artist who works with a lot of different media, such as textiles, photography, illustration, graphic design and more. I believe that the medium should serve the project idea, and so I always choose a medium based on what would best bring my concept to life.

How would you describe your style of work?

I would say that my work is usually about finding poetry in dark topics, always from a very women-centric perspective. I don’t claim to have any solutions to any of these topics, I simply observe them and make work about them. I guess that by making visual poetry about these topics it’s easier for me to process them, and I hope that people who see my work get to have a similar experience. What inspires your work? I am mostly inspired by what it means being a woman in today’s world, but also what it meant in the past, and of course how I think that the femme experience should be like in the future, in terms of rights, day to day liberties and so on. At the same time, I am very introspective, and sometimes a simple feeling or a random object that I find fascinating for one reason or another can inspire an entire project. For instance, in 2018, the year that I was graduating from WIllem de Kooning Academie, I thrifted a vintage apron. It was the first beautifully handcrafted and also super delicate apron that I had ever seen - later on I discovered that this type of apron is called a “cocktail apron” and it was worn as an accessory rather than a utilitarian garment during the 1950s-60s. It inspired a huge research on aprons history, women’s connection to textiles through the ages, and also my entire graduation project. I ended up handcrafting six aprons myself.

What would be your dream project to work on?

I am from Greece, and in my culture and family cooking is a love language. I cook for myself, I cook for others, and if I have ever cared about you, chances are that I have cooked for you. I would really like to launch a small series of handmade table clothes and tea towels, maybe accompanied by thrifted kitchenware, which is another huge love of mine. I am dreaming of it in a sort of one-off collection way. It’s a bit different than what I currently do, but it would be so much fun to curate and craft!

Who should we be following on instagram?

If you’d like to stay up to date with my work you can find me at @sockfishes on Instagram, but you should also absolutely be following @jemimahvaughan for her poetic but also political perspective in art, @daphnepsarros for her playful illustrations of girls who never forgot about their inner child, and @terps for her contemporary take on classic Greek ceramics.


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