Hydroessa is the ancient name of Tinos, a Greek island located in the Aegean Sea that is famous for its natural, geological environment and its strong theological traditions. While visiting Tinos, I was in a period of deep grief and mourning. While I was there, I felt the urge to depict the otherworldly atmosphere of the island and the impression it had to me.
Travelling around the island with only the sea as the limit of my wanderings, I visited as many of the villages and natural landmarks as I could reach. Starting from the very first day on the island, I felt the strong presence of the metamorphic marble that surrounded me. Metamorphic rocks are created when existing rock types change their form and composition—marble is metamorphic. While I was in Tinos I started noticing optical patterns around me. Patterns on the rocks next to the sea, on the water itself, the shape of plants and fabrics—all of these dissimilar materials all reminded me of marble. It was like everything on that island were connected with that metamorphic rock; even some portraits of people I shot had a similar aura.
In Greece, marble is a decorative material that wealthy people use broadly in their houses and offices to demonstrate their power and wealth. Because Tinos is geologically full of a unique green marble, it is found everywhere in the island—in churches, museums, summer houses, banks, etc. It is also used in tombs and monuments; all of the cemeteries are full of marble tombstones. Thus, the marble is a vital part of both life and death.
The ephemeral use of marble as a way to demonstrate money and power seems to lead (unavoidably) to death, where marble serves as an eternal weight that will stand on top of a tomb. Being in a island made me especially aware of the metamorphic rock and triggered in me a series of thoughts about human nature and about living. My personal catharsis came as the result of a metamorphosis, as I moved from a grieving period to an attitude of positive thinking about what is important in life.
This series of photos is the narration of that experience.
Presentation ideas and an installation shot from DL Gallery exhibition “Re-thinking Environment”: