Meet Irene Syrianou, the Woman from Mykonos who Maintains the Ancient Tradition of Cutting the Mosaic Tiles By Hand.
Creator of ancient reproductions as well as of contemporary artwork.
“To find me you will have to search for me”, is one of the first things this young woman says. She was born and bred on Mykonos with close ties to Rineia and Delos. Working as a young woman on Delos, she had the good fortune of seeing the mosaics up close – and a magical relationship developed between her and them.
Each and every mosaic in the space entered her soul and she started to learn their craft, mentored and taught in her efforts by Greek mosaic creator and conservator Nikos Tolis. At present, Irene Syrianou together with just one partner – “with whom we have the same hand” – makes everything from replicas of antiquities to contemporary visual creations in her mosaic workshop and gift shop in Mykonos Town, behind the Gialos area. The tiles and anvil keep her company throughout the summer.
Irene maintains the ancient tradition of cutting the mosaic tiles by hand. Every tile she uses is cut individually one by one. From its Inception until modern times, Mosaic Arts is a craft based in the recycling of materials.
In recent years she has started teaching the craft of the mosaic in workshops organised by the Municipality of Mykonos to dozens of students from the island, while she also participates in the “Agoni Grammi Gonimi” programme, teaching at schools on distant small islands of the Cyclades and the Dodecanese. Through her craft she feels that she is travelling in the same dream as all those who came from her land in the past, especially from Delos.
Irene Syrianou follows the ancient method of cutting tiles by hand and relies on the utilisation of recyclable materials. Her work can be found in public spaces and private collections. Her mosaics can also be purchased in archaeological museum gift shops throughout Greece.
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