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02-02-2023 14:38

State Gallery of Contemporary Art – SPEL: Arts education programme - February 2023

"IN THE SEA OF THE SETTING SUN – Contemporary Photographic Practices and the Archive” (11.11.22 – 25.2.23)

As part of the exhibition "IN THE SEA OF THE SETTING SUN - Contemporary Photographic Practices and the Archive” at the State Gallery of Contemporary Art – SPEL, the public is invited to participate in the following arts education programme, running through the month of February:

  1.   S l o w   d o w n

Workshop for adults by Valia Matsentidou (museum educator)

  • 11.02.2023 Saturday, 11:00 - 13:00  
  • 22.02.2023, Wednesday, 16:00 – 18:00

In the attention span era, workshop curator Valia Matsentidou invites university students, educators, teachers, professionals or not, artists or not, specialists or not - practically each and every adult visitor - to an alternative visit at the State Gallery of Contemporary Art - SPEL, with a central aim: to slow down. Throughout the workshop’s activities, the participants will have the chance to slow down their pace, to engage experientially with the content of the exhibition «In the Sea of the Setting Sun» and to «see» selected artworks in various ways.

How do you stand in front of an artwork? How much time do you dedicate to it? How do you feel in its presence? How many different ways are there to view it? Can you connect to an artwork without knowing anything about it or its creator? How does an artwork help you process the world around you, a world overwhelmed by images? And how does an artwork become an excuse for contemplation, communication and creation?

Participation is free, however pre-booking is necessary, by calling 22479600.  Limited number of participants.


  1. From darkness to light: “Playful encounters with the archive, art, and photography

Educational programme for 9–12-year-old children, facilitated by Dr. Tereza Markidou (art educator and assistant curator of the exhibition)

  • Wednesday 08.02.2023, 16:00-18:00
  • Saturday 18.02.2023, 11:00-13:00

Play, as a learning process, is based on inventiveness, exploration, creativity, curiosity, imagination, and freedom. All these elements are equally fundamental in artistic production. This art education workshop will enable participants to explore some of the contemporary artworks featured in the exhibition “In the Sea of the Setting Sun”, thus uncovering and learning about the narratives and stories presented regarding the land (topos) and its people. During this workshop, children will get to know different photographic practices and understand how they possess the ability to shed light, cultivate criticality and present stories from the past and present, or those that are yet to be told. They will also come to understand the potential of photography as a medium, especially when combined with other fields such as history, research, art, and technology. At the end of the workshop, the participants will have time to create their own small pinhole camera, with the aim to discover and focus more closely on the brighter aspects of everyday life.

Participation is free, however pre-booking is necessary, by calling 22479600. Limited number of participants (12-15 children per workshop).


  1. Searching – Finding – Observing

Activity Cards for parents and children, 7-12 years old. Designed by Dr. Tereza Markidou

  • During February, 06.02.2023-25.02.2023

A visit at a contemporary art exhibition can be an amazing opportunity to talk to children about art and the diverse ways in which the artists may approach a certain subject. It is also a great chance to develop dialogue between parent and child regarding a contemporary piece of art that might seem distant or difficult to comprehend at first. In this way, children come to learn how to interact with contemporary artworks in the gallery space.

The activity cards for parents and children were designed specifically for the exhibition “In the Sea of the Setting Sun: Contemporary photographic practices and the Archive”, to be used as a simple tool to help navigate their way through the exhibition. The cards consist of selected artworks from each floor and invite the children to find them, look closely at some of the visual elements in each one, and combine them with pieces of information to create their own meaning. Children are also invited to voluntarily perform simple in situ art activities based on the artworks. Dialogue is developed not only between parents and children, but also between the visitors and the artworks, as they are invited to co-construct meaning and create connections; thus, transforming their visit to the gallery into a memorable shared experience.

The activity cards can be borrowed from the reception and must be returned after use.


The exhibition «IN THE SEA OF THE SETTING SUN – Contemporary Photographic Practices and the Archive”, curated by Elena Stylianou, is co-organised by the Deputy Ministry of Culture – Department of Modern and Contemporary Culture and IAPT (International Association of Photography and Theory, Cyprus).