Elena’s work experience is remarkable: collaborations with esteemed Greek cultural institutions, such as the Acropolis Museum, Cycladic Art Museum, Benaki Museum and international fashion giants such as Gucci and Ralph Lauren, participation in exhibitions and projects alongside other artists in Europe and in the US: Biennale in Valencia, Business Design Centre in London, the Lacoste project, design of the “Key of Hydra town”, as well as the commemorative gift for the European Union Head of State conference in Corfu and two prizes awarded at the annual Couture Show in Las Vegas. Last but not least, the culmination of her career; the assignment of the redesign of the Olympic medals for the 2004 summer Olympic Games held in Athens and the following ones as her signature will remain on the front façade of the medals for all further Olympic Games.
It’s impressive how an internationally acclaimed designer, such as Elena Votsi despite her enviable career opts to not follow a fabulous life through continuous successes but returns back to her familiar small Greek island of Hydra where she lived her childhood and houses her first jewelry store. “Sky, sea, rocks; A raw beauty that charms every traveler with artistic sensibilities: musicians, painters, writers have already fallen in love and inspired by its beauty. In Hydra all things follow the rules of nature”, the designer comments indicating the island’s tranquility, harmony and quality, a cosmopolitan attraction that keeps its identity without falling into the trap of sensationalism.
“The same pattern one can find in my collections. The ELENA VOTSI jewels are unique creations with simple lines and different volumes which discard any superfluous element and aim to highlight every woman’s uniqueness while standing independently on the desk like small artworks or games”, the creator states. Her jewelry lines are simple, modern but clean with a purpose; to reflect the radiance and strength of the Greek sun through every movement and “communicate” with nature’s signs. For instance, the arrows she has designed, carry her love for the sea, for the Greek sky, for life itself. The golden balls- one of her signature creations- reflect the Greek light and symbolize the perfection of the circle.
One of her favorite spots in the picturesque island of Hydra is the floodlit harbor where from her early age, she recalls it as a theater scene with “protagonists” well-dressed ladies which were playing their own part within life. This romantic era is depicted in her favorite piece (one of her awarded pieces as the best jewel at the Couture Show in Las Vegas), the Eros ring with the hidden point that one can keep out of sight his/her erotic message. “For me, jewelry is not fashion, it is an extra element to the female body that hides an identity, a truth, a story. Jewelry is an experience, art, mode of expression, narration of a short story, and how to tell your own “, Elena Votsi discloses.
According to Elena Votsi, the 3 must do’s while visiting the scenic island of Hydra is the Kountouriotis mansion, the DESTE Project space Slaughterhouse and island’s picturesque cloister. Lastly, for every woman exploring the beauty of Hydra; a quick visit to her signature store to try on her shinny rings or explore her stunning collection.
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Photo Credits: Alexandros Papanikolopoulos