Why All Art Lovers Should Visit Hydra this Summer

Hydra island
Hydra island | © Wiki/Commons
Photo of India Doyle
28 May 2018

As Hydra, Greece, prepares for its busiest season, Culture Trip explores why this idyllic island is a must-visit for art lovers.

During the summer Greek islands have long proved alluring for travellers from across the world. But your visit need not be comprised solely of sun, sea, and calamari. Each year Hydra becomes an artistic hub throughout the summer months, and this year looks set to be a highlight of the Greek cultural calendar.

Located a few hours from Athens by boat, Hydra has always been a popular day trip and weekend spot for Athenians looking to escape from city life. It’s also home to the iconic Greek art collector Dakis Iaonnou, who opened a new exhibition space on the island in 2008, as part of the wider collection of spaces in the Deste foundation. The project space Slaughterhouse on Hydra has hosted a major artist exhibition every year since it began. Previous years have seen artists such as Kara Walker, Paul Chan and Urs Fischer exhibit.

On its 10th anniversary the space will welcome British artist David Shrigley. Shrigley’s work will be a site-specific piece called Laughterhouse. The work is rendered in the form of a documentary which examines goats that cry like human beings. If it sounds weird that’s exactly as it should be; David Shrigley is widely known for his humorous, off-kilter mixed media works.

During the opening there will also be a musical performance, with sound recordings of the goats taken from film mixed with electric guitars created by the artist. Expect the unexpected.

David Shrigley at the Slaughterhouse project space on Hydra, 2018 | © DESTE

Visit the David Shrigley’s show on Hydra and you’ll find yourself in excellent artistic company. The show coincides with Art Athina and is sure to welcome dynamic gallerists and artists from across Europe for the festivities.

Running throughout the summer months, this exhibition certainly provides a huge draw for art lovers looking for a new experience. However Hydra also offers other artistic charms to make your trip more than worthwhile.

Alongside Slaughterhouse, visitors can stop by the Hydra Museum Art Gallery and Hydra School Projects. Both organisations champion Greek and international artists with initiatives throughout the year.

While you wander around the serene and car-free island, taking in the donkeys and tranquil blue waters, you might even find inspiration here yourself.

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