Everything is connected, everything creates the conditions for something else to follow. In this sense, painting opened a way that eventually led to photography. I love making images, collecting them and, most of all, simply being out there, embracing one of the most beautiful aspects of photography: walking around without an apparent purpose. Making photographs is not the actual purpose, an end in itself, but only a byproduct of this meditation-like process. Tell me about the project Anama, what were the Talc Design Studio intentions? What were yours?
The project was initiated by Athens based Talc Design Studio and it was commissioned by a local group of entrepreneurs. The idea was to project the unseen part of an island more famous as a religion center, with thousands of pilgrims visiting every year the shrine that hosts the miraculous icon of Virgin Mary. To reveal, in other words, its secret essence.
Before starting the work, did you follow an itinerary or did you let yourself be guided by nature? How did you approach the project?
I do have an overall plan about it, but I permit myself to move freely, guided by intuition. There’s always something organic in my process.
I spent my childhood close to nature, undisturbedly studying frogs and snails, bugs and spiders. The wings of a cicada, or the red and black colored shield of a Pyrrhocoris Apterus, they are still some of the most familiar and intimate shapes I can think of. This is the same with the sea as well, it has always been a part of me. I do find that every experience that art offers me to this day, it carries inside something of that same innocence, the excitement, the curiosity, the transcendence, the very first awakening of consciousness. My work focuses on nature because I prefer to be there. You said: “I capture the subtle imprint that the world leaves on our senses, processed not through the mind but through our feelings”. What were your feelings staying there?
Everything is fundamentally empty of an independent and inherent self-existence. There is only form perceived by our senses. Feelings are freely generated and inside them they include both the form and its experience. The photographic process can interfere between feelings and perception, by witnessing things without identifying them, so they can remain unconceptualized, just pure form, only an appearance. Pure feeling is an unconceptualized reaction towards form. The liquidity of forms wants to evoke the eternal change of nature in a continuous dialogue between natural elements, between the sea and the rocks, the wind and the mountains. Could you explain this dynamic concept of liquidity?
Everything is a flow, a constant one, coherent, continuous, perfect. A stream that never remains the same, yet so complete that it never changes. It is a space that expands under our perception, throughout the world, imperceptible and vast, continuous and indefinite. Infinity is movement and stillness occurring together, simultaneously, in an undivided, perfectly inseparable way. The world arises depended on our consciousness and our senses arise depended on the world. They both arise and collapse depended upon each other. There is no distance in between, no duality, not two things separate. Everything is happening inside us, space, time, form, every aspect is unfolded inside our consciousness. The natural and animal elements represent an unique dimension of metamorphosis: the animals are camouflaged and the nature is becoming animal. Tell me about the choice of inserting animals in the project.
I approach them as if they were the single thread that binds us still to the natural world. Through these wandering creatures, we are led blindly through a landscape that seems impenetrable, like the heroes of an origin story told in reverse. The wind seems to be the main sculptor of the island and this concept is connected with the eternal presence of myths and legends like Aeolus, the god of winds, who was said to have his palace inside the clouds that embrace the summit of its highest mountain. The nature is the legend and the island is a myth of itself. How did you represent the mythological component in your images?
It’s not a representation in terms of a conceptual visualization. It’s happening more on the level of pure forms. Aeolus, as everything else, is a form, a manifestation of consciousness projected upon the mind. We tend to see things more or less conditioned within their concepts. Mythology preserves the meditation on the unconceptualized form. In fact we could consider mythology as the linguistic effort to describe the inconceivable. This is why it is the mother of poetry.
The absence of the human figure emphasizes the divine presence in the island. You breathe a freedom feeling of a life stopped at myths time. The island shaped by its myths and not by the man. What is the human role in this island and in your project?
The island has many little villages, making it one of the most beautiful islands in the Aegean. There certainly is human presence. I am not including this as a reference because with my work I want to focus more on the timeless aspect. Still, everything is consciousness; in this sense we are always present – it is the person who’s absent, not the presence.
I only hope that it will preserve its unique character. A big part of the island reflects something timeless, making even the period of a century seem like a small fragment, one single second.
What will be the future developments of your research about landscape photography?
Everything unfolds organically, in a natural way. I don’t mean to force the direction but it does leading me forward. It’s an experience that never ceases to reveal new elements. It’s about becoming the landscape yourself: just mere awareness.