The school programs about Louise Bourgeois’s sculpture Maman at the SNFCC are inspired by the autobiographical tone permeating the artist’s oeuvre.
Following Bourgeois’s visual journey, from childhood to her youth and on to her maturity, the workshops incorporate a number of artistic practices employed by the artist over the course of each respective period of her life.
At the same time, underneath her iconic spider sculpture, participants can hear Louise, as a child, a young woman, and an adult, talk about her thoughts and events from her life.
Concept/Design: Very Young Contemporary Art VYCA
Each educational program will take place one time per day during 09.30 – 11.30One class per time slot
Participation of one school class per time slot.
Choose which day you want to participate in the school programs and make your booking here
School programs :
My name is Louise - L. B.
From a very young age, Louise used to help her mother in their family business of mending woven rugs.
What she enjoyed most was drawing the missing designs on the worn tapestries, so that they could then be woven with thread.
The “spider” form, which represents Bourgeois’s close relationship with her mother, was born from her childhood memories, when she was exploring the art of weaving, participating in the ritual of restoring old woven heirlooms: washing the rugs in the river, mending them, painting the threads, sewing.
At the workshop, young students embark on a journey back in time! They find themselves in 1920 Paris, meet 9-year-old Louise and help her mend a valuable tapestry that has just arrived at her mother Josephine’s weaving workshop.
*For the purposes of the workshop, students will need to bring along with them a piece of fabric that belongs to their mother orof a loved one since at the end of the workshops the textile will become a thread to form a collective tapestry.
Fabric is a memory exercise - L. B.
Although Louise Bourgeois is better known for her sculptures, at the beginning of her career, and for nearly twenty years, she was dedicated to painting and engraving.
Her writings, as well as her drawings, are a collection of deep personal thoughts and memories from her childhood.
The artist used to jot down thoughts and images on countless sheets of paper, on the back of her designs, and in many, many journals. “You can withstand anything as long as you write it down,” she used to say.
Inspired by Bourgeois’s illustrated books, students become acquainted with mixed collage and fabric printing techniques, and then create a handcrafted textile journal, Louise-style.
*For the purposes of the workshop, students will need to bring along a photograph (children, family) printed on paper and a piece of fabric that remind them of something from their lives or by a person close to them.
Maman is an ode to my mother - L. B.
Louise Bourgeois created her first sculpture shortly before turning forty. At that time, she first painted the “spider” symbol on paper, and then started to experiment with various materials, such as wood, clay and plaster. At the age of 88, she created the giant spider Maman.
In the words of the artist: “My best friend was my mother; and she was very smart, patient, calm, tidy, handy and helpful, as rational and necessary as a spider.”
In this workshop, revolving around the sculpture Maman, students work on contradictory concepts, such as strong-fragile, love-fear, protection-entrapment, and construct a creature (real or imaginary) that symbolizes motherhood.
Working from inside out, both symbolically and functionally, they will first mold the creature’s frame using galvanized wire, and then dress it with materials, such as plaster cloth, to shape it in the form they have imagined.
*For the purposes of the workshop, students will need to bring along with them a piece of fabric that belongs to their mother or a loved one since at the end of the workshops the textile will become a thread to form a collective tapestry.
All protective measures are observed at the SNFCC’s School Programs!
All school programs were designed and are made available free of charge through a grant by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).
Photograph: Nikos Karanikolas © The Easton Foundation/ Licensed by OSDEETE/ ΟΣΔΕΕΤΕ, Athens, Greece and VAGA at ARS, NY, USA