The Olimpias present:

Arts with a Difference: Creativity, Empowerment, Performance

group of performers

Most Olimpias Projects are created through participatory means, and in workshop situations, using a variety of art forms, including street theatre, dance, film production and visual arts approaches.


workshop at Llandrindod Wells, 1999


Are the workshops for me or my organisation?

The Olimpias' workshops are particularly aimed at people who:

So what will happen?

Using drama, dance, visual arts, music and new media art (either in combination or with a specific emphasis), the workshops explore the richness of our experience, our innate ability to communicate in a multitude of ways, and our individual, breathtaking beauty. At the same time, the workshops sensitise us to the social processes surrounding body image, selfhood and disability, and the effect of media representations on our everyday lives and values. Over the length of the two-day workshop, participants create an installation, performance, photogallery or website in order to celebrate and share a new found perspective on difference. This emphasis on communal creation allows us to see ourselves as players and producers in the big game of social representation.

Who will make it happen?

The Olimpias is an arts organisation set up by Petra Kuppers and dedicated to collaborative art practice, and to the investigation of community art forms and identity politics in contemporary settings. It an umbrella organisation that allows artists interested in social change to come and work together, and to share their practice. The experienced artists/educators involved in this workshop series have been collaborating since 2000 on a number of artistic and academic ventures.

The Olimpias collaborators include Kanta Kochhar-Lindgren, Sophia Lycouris, Ana Flores, Agnieska Woznicka, Sam Richards, Deborah Nash, Marsian De Lellis, Maria Katherina Braun and many others.

group of performers on chalk street stage

Above: Work created by participating artists with workshop leader Petra Kuppers during August Course, Richard Attenborough Centre Car Park, Leicester: 'Dickie and Di - An Environmental Installation', using street theatre, chalk, stone, paper, metal objects, cars and asphalt. Leicester, 2000.

Below: Still from workshop with Talking Bodies, Cardiff, May 2003

dancers in workshop
Below: Group at the Ystradgynlais Community Contact Center, Wales (2002)
group photo of Welsh group

Participants' Comments (quoted from evaluation sheets)

Really pleased that I learned things by DOING - Thank you!

As a total Newcomer to workshops I have enjoyed and learnt a vast amount. I am looking forward to and feel I have the confidence to run my own workshop. Well done Petra!

Loved Music Movement Petra's Support!

All exercises with Petra enabled and allowed us to 'run our own race'.

Learnt about value and worth of all contributions - verbal, mental, movement and otherwise the richness of the individual and the group.

Personally I liked the freedom with just enough structure - the reflective times - sense of adventure and fun. Not bounded by language.

Lots of new ideas and games from Petra which really used our senses, inspiring, I want to move more and stop hindering myself and keep searching for inspiring disabled role models.

Have had fun this week and gained more confidence, especially about joining it!

The gentle nurturing rain of Petra's words and singing plus ours watered the roots and washed bright each leaf or bud.

Deliciously wonderful, RICH in so much creativity and information!

Petra is very calm and solid, very serene and confident, I felt safe with her leadership.