Despoina (Penny) Demertzi is a photographer, scholar and PhD researcher at Goldsmiths University of London, Department of Politics, London, UK. She holds a BA in Archaeology and History, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece and an MA in Fine Arts (Honors), MaHKU Utrecht Graduate School of Visual Art and Design, Utrecht, The Netherlands. She is a qualified teacher of Greek Language and Literature and (UK) QTS holder. Penny was awarded with Darmasiswa Scholarship to study Dance Art at ISI Yogyakarta, Indonesia. She collaborated with the Artists’ Initiative Ruang Rupa and she was the Artist in Residence at Ruang Me56 (Indonesian Contemporary Photography). In Indonesia she produced the photographic studies entitled: ”Magiciens De La Terre?” and “Theatrical Scenario: Yogyakarta – Jakarta, Java, Indonesia: IN BETWEEN” (Artist in Residence Solo Exhibition) and was invited as guest lecturer at ISI Surakarta and UNTAR Jakarta. Her photographic work has been selected for photography / photobook workshops by Anders Petersen, Christian Caujolle, Atelier SMEDSBY by JH Engstrom &Margot Wallard, Antoine d’Agata (VOID Greece), Stratos Kalafatis, FUAM (The Photography Application & Research Center – Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts, Istanbul, Turkey) visiting artist, FUAM Photobook Workshop#6 with Alex Bocchetto &Valentina Abenavoli – AKINA BOOKS. Penny was a selected participant photographer for the Studio Vortex by Antoine d’ Agata Residency Program, Arles, France (July 2022) where she produced and presented the photographic study: “Decolonizing The Text: The Language of Flowers, Georges Bataille; On Synaesthetic Garden – On Labor.”
In 2022, a group of artists from different parts of the world gathered in Arles for a residency program led by renowned photographer Antoine d’Agata. They used photography and archival materials to explore the complex concept of identity and address pressing social issues. The result is an exquisite blend of voices, colors, and points of view that challenges us to reflect on, empathize with, and relate to the intricate fabric of our shared human experience.
The artists in this exhibition come from a variety of countries and backgrounds, and their work celebrates multicultural identities and explores a wide range of socio-cultural and political issues, such as immigration, post-colonialism, gender, and freedom. The exhibition reflects on the difficulties of living between cultures and developing an identity within borders by inviting the viewers to reflect on their own experiences of isolation, loneliness, insecurity, and vulnerability, and encourages them to develop empathy and understanding across borders.