Agios

(2019-2020)

"O Agios"  is the project I graduated with from the Art Academy in Maastricht NL, the year of 2020. It is a project that includes different works, all influenced by the chapel of Agios-Athonas that is located in Pelion GR.

In this project, my work focuses on the nature of the human soul, its spirituality and need to connect with the divine and its surroundings. I use media that include video, installations and photography and focus on absorbing and realising information that view the cycle of a natural and non-natural destruction and construction. Existing between the Dutch and the Greek cultural background, I combine those two worlds and bring their traditions and morals together introducing them to the melancholy of their scenery.

In concept, my work explores the fine line existing within the duality of things: there is life and there is death, there is the light and then there is the darkness, silence and sound, the material world and the world of the shadows. The fine line where the opposite sides meet I call it ‘the undetermined’ that for many centuries was defined by different gods and prophets. How does nature connect with the spirituality of things? What’s left from our belief and in what way does it serve our human nature?  Where comes our need to believe in something that we can’t see from? How did faith end up to be associated with ‘God’ and ‘God’ with light?

Born in Greece, a country overflowed with light and covered by small chapels and churches that are built in every corner of the land, helped me understand and create the connection between the light and the divine becoming an important part of my work. Light is the greatest source of life and the "divine painter of the world” as Honoré de Balzac describes in one of his works pointing to the significance and beauty if it. To picture the fragility, sensibility and power of light and form a new image of religion, without rules and dogmas, I use materials like gold-leaves that get mostly used in the Orthodox religious art, as it symbolises the light, the goodness and the spiritual wealth of the divine. I seek for that golden light that shines humbly and elegant through the dark rooms of the old churches I used to visit as a child back in Greece and place it in a new setting, keeping the holiness and the delighted element alive as the centre of the existence of the unique human spirit and nature connected to a bigger spiritual and material total. 

O Agios / Essay

 

“On a top of a hill was where that small chapel was built.  Abandoned by the faithful, lonely, with the view of the mountain Pelion ricing on the right and smaller hills laying underneath it, on the left, reaching the Pagasitikós gulf. Built there, exposed to the sunlight from the beginning of the day until the end, overflowed by all these lights and having the north wind coming from the mountain rubbing its cracked walls, it was the chapel of Agios-Athonas.

Standing there, with a timeless world of light and life around me, colourful and rich in smells and sounds, that didn’t even notice my existence, made me feel powerless, invisible, facing a big world with its dominant, natural flow of life and death.  A small glimpse of fear would appear, crawling slowly from each corner of my body to my heart, telling me that I’m nothing more than a part of that flow, nothing more than life and death. I would look up, search for Him in the endless blue sky but I could never meet His figure with my eyes because He was nowhere, yet, He was everywhere. Sometimes, I would open the door of the chapel and get inside the small, dark space closing the door behind me. It was very quiet there, I could feel the quietness. The only noise was the wind trying to get inside from a small hole on the roof, like a whistle, a dimmed song of an invisible force that for some reason would make the quietness more notable.  Then, I would light a candle in front of the icon of the holy, of Agios-Athonas and sit on a chair looking at that small source of light dancing with its own death. Being as powerful and vivid as the light of the sun outside, it felt like I brought a drop of this light inside, creating this flame, giving birth to the holy spirit inside the chapel.”

 

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