In The Studio #141 Jessica Dunleavy

Jessica Dunleavy is currently based in Athens

The Snehta Residency offered me the opportunity to bring my project ‘The Skill Exchange Library’ to the community of Kypseli and surrounding neighbourhoods in the city of Athens. The project is a platform for me to gather and explore people’s skills. As well as being interested in archiving them, I create workshops for contributors to share personal skills in unusual ways. I also go out into the streets seeking skills. I think about the concept of (building) a library as broadly as possible. The studio provides me with the space to develop and consolidate the outcomes of my socially engaged practice into pieces that communicate this activity  - the societal tensions between different groups people, as well as considering how skills are accessed, learned and communicated.  Within the studio ‘the real’ of socially engaged practice has the opportunity to evolve into fictional narratives if necessary and, in doing so, touches upon the representational and metaphorical: a space of possibilities.
 Jessica Dunleavy, July 2013

Snehta promotes and facilitates local and international artists through its residency and exhibitions programmes in Kypseli, Athens. Residents are selected through an open call for artists, designers, architects, curators and art historians who then spend two months researching in Athens. Two annual exhibitions showcase residents’ work. Snehta also organizes a series of exhibitions, talks and workshops in response to topics that critically engage with Athens’ unique identity as a historical and social center.
Snehta stands for the name of the City of Athens written in reverse. This name metaphorically suggests that the artists involved are to rediscover Athens by reading and translating it alternatively,observing and using the City’s local, social and cultural dynamics. We emphasize for the programme and the resident artists to bring a renewed awareness of Athens to the audience through the works produced exhibitions and events. These should relate to and critically stimulate Hellenic, inter-European and global audiences, redefining Athens in a global context.

The programme’s mission is to educate by spreading contemporary art practice whilst expanding artistic practices that present elements of innovation and experimentation. Snehta fosters practices that clearly delineate the implication between artist, work and audience, supporting creative practices that strongly regard the experience or involvement of the community in the artwork or within the organization.