We call a role model a person that inspires the younger, mostly, with his or her positioning in life. Behaviour and success are considered the key points, but the historical moment and the trends that go with it allow this positioning to come out as success and as likeable behaviour, or not. Outside everyday life, role models are easy to identify in films, as well as in books; in a description so to say. But what if we would remove the descriptive part and offer the values of a role model in pure art.
A painter would suggest this:
Painting has an important role to play in our society despite of what people and the art world itself proclaim with frequent judgements. Painting – the act of and the responsiveness to – is a role-model to the following:
Self-sufficiency, to the extent possible
A sense of devotion outside religions
A measurable ability for concentration
A chance for contemplation with result to non-navigated thoughts
A movement of the brain in connection to the intelligent movements of the hands
A sense that time and space expand, shrink and take forms in respond to our disposition
A counter balance to art as entertainment
A living connecting point to tradition and history
A dimmer of human created noise
Thoughts by a a devoted painter and resilient advocate of the special quality that painting offers to the arts and to the community.
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The exhibition running since April last year, 2012, has the quality of the rare: a small exhibition where you can spend at least one hour (in three rooms) and leave overwhelmed of the story, the findings and the research. The sculptures alone will hunt you as unbelievable figures reshaped in the deep of the sea, there where the ship sunk, close to Antikythera island, in the sea between Peloponnesos and Crete. For years we only knew the Antikythera Ephebe, one of the first findings of the shipwreck, during the initial archaeological operations around 1900 and of course the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient analogue computer designed to calculate astronomical positions. I am linking this to the wikipedia page but for detailed documented information and image material (where you will realise that the research project is ongoing) I refer you to this website: http://www.antikythera-mechanism.gr/
And some practical info: the exhibition is temporary but no extra ticket is required. To visit it you walk through the museum, already preparing yourself for a breathtaking experience. Do not forget to go afterwards downstairs to the café of the museum and assimilate what you just saw in the interior garden amongst ancient sculptures and two equally antique turtles.
Some people are thankful to find art even at the smallest place they visit. I am one of them and though Aegiali is not really the smallest or surely not the least visited place, I do find it amazing that someone decided to organize an art project on annual basis. Every summer and for the two busiest months, July and August, Dimitris Eliadis invites artists to make work on site changing the alley of his restaurant-guest house “12 Acropolis” into an art space. The project is called “αέναες συμπτώσεις” (perpetual coincidences) and from this year on it is showing mainly Greek artists.
Needless to say that I came across 12 Acropolis by pure coincidence. I was told by a friend, through another friend that there is an art project going on at Aegiali. We went to Amorgos, two adults and a five year old, with the idea to stay at Katapola solely getting on a bus to visit the Chora (the main town) and Agia Anna (the big blue).
On our last day in Amorgos we decided to rent a car and go a bit further than where the bus would bring us. Not that the island is so big or that there is no transport. On the contrary, I thought that all was well arranged and timely. In any case the roads are fixed since my last visit, 25 years ago; of course they are. Still, crossing the mountain from Katapola to Aegiali on a mysteriously misty day did see for an adrenaline shot followed by a light headache. Aegiali is the Northern port of the island, a town pushed to the sea by a mountain bulk starting right behind the houses. Small houses, big mountain, you loose a bit the sense of proportion. The works of Maria Letsiou soothed the tension with their delicate lines and colours. Maria ordered the works like a travel diary “1st day”, “2nd day”. Going toward the last days I could see that the colour moved to lighter hues; the shattering light of the island imposed itself on the mood and the eyes; the forms adjusted to the evenness that heat and peace on an island like Amorgos bring and thus became more inclusive.
I had the chance to see only the first of the six planned presentations, but here they are all six with their starting dates and titles:
Maria Letsiou- αιθέρια δημιουργήματα (ethereal creations) – 19 July
Elli Griva – εικαστική παρέμβαση σε δημόσιο χώρο (artistic intervention in public space) – 28 July