Photographic project, 2021
The Greek landscape is light; and under this light there is a land covered with places named after Saints, made to keep faith safe.
Faithkeepers, the chapels, called "ksoklísia" in greek, are Christian Orthodox, usually relatively small places of prayer and worship. They started to be built already since the spread of the Christian religion and continue until this day (most of them were built during the Ottoman years, though some are even older). The reasons of their construction vary, as does their history. Chapels are a fundamental element of the greek culture and scenery. They are characterised by their simplicity, special smell and dimmed atmosphere. Once a year, the faithful people gather in celebration of the Saint the chapel is dedicated to, also the name day of the people named after them.
In this collection of black-and-white images, I photographed, during the period April - June 2021, thirty-two (32) chapels located on the mountain Pelion and more specifically, in the area of the villages Miliés, Vyzítsa, Pinakátes and the smaller ones Argyreïka, Stavrodrómi and Agios Athanásios.
It is this very nostalgic energy chapels carry, which attracted me from the beginning, as well as their diversity; some small, humble and hidden and some big and proud, they can be found in every corner of the country. Chapels are unique spaces, where you feel the impact and importance of the spiritual culture, whether you believe in God or not. Each picture captures the character of every building, in relation to its environment and the monochromatic tone highlights, among other things, the contrast of shadow and light.
The idea behind this collection of photographs, is also based on the relationship between art, religion and philosophy and seeks the point where these three meet each other, a topic that has concerned me the past years. At last, this collection of images, as documentation, contribute in the preservation and presentation of the cultural heritage Pelion has to offer; a place that has been a big source of inspiration for a lot of people.