Exhibition: Greek Domestic Breeds-a hidden treasure
“Greek Domestic Breeds-a hidden treasure”
Themainland and islands of Greece are home to a great concentration of traditional domestic livestock. In three expeditions, over 18 months, Australian artist Jason Roberts, in association with Amalthia (The Network for the Protection of Greek Indigenous Farm Animals), visited numerous farms and ancestral grazing pastures researching a series of paintings depicting many of these, often ancient, breeds in their environments. Over the course of these travels into some of the most wild and remote corners of Greece, Jason was introduced by Amalthia to farmers, shepherds, goatherds and cattlemen, many of whom were caretakers of flocks and herds handed down for generations.
While Jason studied, sketched, and photographed the animals, Amalthia representatives took genetic samples for analysis, with both parties working towards a greater understanding of Greece’s unique, and threatened, rural heritage.
Back in Melbourne, over the following two years, Jason has meticulously painted a remarkable and unprecedented series of works depicting these breeds and the varied wild and rural settings in which they live. Skyros ponies are depicted on their windswept Sporadic Island home, Greek shepherd dogs defend sheep from wolves, and a farmer in Ithaca is shown milking his flock of Kefalonian sheep in an olive grove on the outskirts of Vathy.
The project will culminate in an exhibition in Athens from the 5th to the 29th of May 2020, and a book of Jason’s illustrations of individual animals as a field guide to these often rare and little-known animals that are threatened by the industrialisation of livestock production. The project is funded by a grant given by Stavros Niarchos Foundation and supported by the Athens Municipality. Jason will be present on the 8th of May at the Grand opening.
Greek Domestic Breeds-a hidden treasure celebrates the incredible natural diversity of Greece as well as the traditional livestock breeds that have developed here since time immemorial, and seeks to ensure their survival into the future. The aim will be to place an international spotlight on the richness of Greek nature and the value of native Greek farm animals, thus helping raise awareness and ultimately aid in their conservation.
Exhibition hall: "Melina" Cultural Center
Opening: Tuesday 5 May, 2020
On view till: Friday 29 May, 2020
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10: 00-20: 00, Sunday 10: 00-14: 00. Closed on Monday.
Address: 66 Heraklidon str., Thissio, Athens.
Metro station: Keramikos