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Greek Collection

 The exhibition ‘On the Road to Rhodes’ 1998 - Fitzroy.

 

In 1997 I traveled to Greece on the invitation of a student to the tiny village of Kattavia at the southernmost tip of Rhodes Island in the archipelagos of the Dodecanese Islands.    I spent about 2 weeks painting around the village, and the 220 kms of coastline in my small hire car. On the road I painted small oil sketches 41x51cm for ease of travel, the larger work was painted on my return from sketches.

The eye of the painter feasted.  The blue and white light pervading everything, the whitewashed houses and laneways, the aquamarine clear seas, the olive trees, the rocky hills.  

I found new freedom and a new relationship between the canvas and the indigenous Greek light.   I learned to beat up the canvas, make it old, give it that special light that is only the Greek Islands' light. 

Woman with Donkey Heading to Kattavia Centre.  152.4 x 182.88cm

 

The blue and orange triangular shadows of the wall and grass tufts counter the brilliant whitewash walls and road bringing focus to the woman figure and donkey with pannikin bags bulging happily on its’ sides. It’s a stable contented scene, a snippet of village life.

Bougainvillea    40 x 50 cm

 

 

Whitewashed walls in blue light reflecting the sky and the sea magnify the bright pink of the bougainvillea vine reaches with joy to the sun celebrating this warm summer of a little Greek Island Village. It’s good to be alive, there is freedom in my brush stroke and recording this happy moment.

Near Lindos, Rhodes Island, Greece. 76.2x91cm 

 

 

On this day of exploring the beautiful Island I can around a corner to happen on this very domestic scene bathed in late afternoon light, where a little farm carved out of the limestone rocky landscape, its stone fences and buildings nudging against the pristine waters of the inlet near Lindos, 3 km from the City of Rhodes (Capital).

 

Once again I felt compelled to not lay too much of myself in the painting, leaving only the bare essential content, leaving only a hint of my presence by trying to express the understated activities of a sustainable life on an island whose crisscross history is one of possession and repossession and its barren appearance which hides mineral rich rocks and water tables used for sustenance, healing and beneficial properties not seen on the first encounters.  

Near Lindos, Rhodes Island, Greece.  

Village Woman Working. 50x40cm

 

'Village Life', My Greek Collection, 1997.   Spending time in Greece and Turkey, painting on the island of Rhodes, in the little village in the south east of the city of Rhodes.⁠

Encountering for the first time 'the Aegean and Mediterranean Light'. the special light, the ubiquitous blue haze of the surrounding sea drenches the shadows and reflects onto the bleached whites of clothing and whitewashed houses. This aspect and the signs of a village life working with the flow of the natural world and age old knowledge and customs handed down offer centuries became the aim of a painting style I would take away from this experience with such effects as patinas , distressed renders  and of course 'blue haze'.

 

 

On this day of exploring the beautiful Island I can around a corner to happen on this very domestic scene bathed in late afternoon light, where a little farm carved out of the limestone rocky landscape, its stone fences and buildings nudging against the pristine waters of the inlet near Lindos, 3 km from the City of Rhodes (Capital).

 

Once again I felt compelled to not lay too much of myself in the painting, leaving only the bare essential content, leaving only a hint of my presence by trying to express the understated activities of a sustainable life on an island whose crisscross history is one of possession and repossession and its barren appearance which hides mineral rich rocks and water tables used for sustenance, healing and beneficial properties not seen on the first encounters.