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Magic scripts - Apotropaic texts

Opening with presentation by Irini Gonou: Monday 10 March at 14:30.

The exhibition is an art quest which explores the healing and protective power of the written word as a specific cultural idiom of the Arabic script and early North African cultures.

The artist uses natural materials such as cotton fabric, handmade paper and natural inks, reeds, leaves and linen twine. Working with these raw materials, she explores medical-magical-protective properties and their symbolic meanings. "In my works the poetic language replaces the magic formulas considering anew the healing properties of art in modern societies", explains Irini Gonou.

Born in Athens, Irini Gonou graduated from the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts and the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, where she lived for eleven years. Since 1980 she has shown her art work in thirty three solo exhibitions in Greece, Germany, UK, France, USA and Belgium. Her solo exhibition Al-Khatt, the magic script in 2008 was a visual dialog at the Benaki Museum of Islamic Art in Athens. She has participated in numerous group exhibitions in Greece and abroad. Her artworks are included in Museum collections as well as Municipal Galleries, private Museums and Foundations, and a variety of private collections in Greece and abroad. Gonou lives and works in Athens and teaches a calligraphy workshop on the Mediterranean Scripts at the Museum of Islamic Art of Athens.

There will be an opening of the exhibition where the artist presents her work on Monday 10 March at 14:30. The exhibition will be open from 09:00-15:00 on Tuesday 11 March and Wednesday 12 March.

Jointly organized by: Centre for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (SMI) at the University of Bergen and the Organization for the Greek-Norwegian cooperation in the fields of culture and humanities.