09 July 2022
5 minutes with: Athena Gronti
Athena Gronti is a textiles designer originally from Athens in Greece. She likes to combine disciplines within her work such as photography, graphic design and illustration. We sat down with our new Art of RAW collaborator to discuss her inspirations, career path and of course, all things denim.
- Featured Artist
- Athena Gronti
On becoming a textiles designer:
"When I moved to the Netherlands to study design, I didn’t have a clear idea of where I was going with it. I was always drawn to textiles because my grandma was a seamstress actually and so I grew up with her always sewing things on her machine or embroidering to relax… My studies were called Lifestyle Design, it was quite broad. The medium was free to choose so there was a year or two where I was playing around with different materials. And then at some point I just got my hands on textiles and it clicked. It wasn’t really a planned thing, it happened and felt right so I stuck with it."
“at some point I just got my hands on textiles and it clicked. It wasn’t really a planned thing, it happened and felt right so I stuck with it.”
- Athena Gronti -
I was really fascinated by how complex and rich the history of the material itself is and how many contradictions there are and how little we know about it. I’m a huge believer in really knowing where things come from, the things that we hold in our hands and that we put on our bodies. I feel like we’re in this era where we’ve lost touch with literally everything and everything comes from a store and that’s it. The more I was reading about it, the more fascinated I was. I was drawn into this paradox of it, it’s a really harsh material but it’s also really soft. And it’s a material of the least privileged people of the world yet it’s also high fashion."
On her art piece - Ariadne’s Thread:
"I wanted to create a piece that would showcase a lot of textures and qualities of denim and how it can be rough, fluffy, soft, you don’t want to touch it but you really want to touch it. My idea was the person that would view it, would be drawn into it and it would be the trigger point to want to know more about the material itself. It would be an invitation for people to get curious. [Ariadne’s Thread] It’s a Greek myth. When I was growing up, my dad read a lot of myths to me as fairytales. Ariadne is a woman at the start of a labyrinth, who uses yarn to save her beloved hero. For me, it’s like this parallel that I would really like to be the person to hold the beginning of the yarn to lead the viewer to the rich history of the material."