Saturday, 3 October 2015

In Greece, a Little Goes a Long Way

Marilyn Harding

"A little goes a long way" is usually the mantra of the travel companies encouraging clients to take advantage of Greece, this economically-beleaguered but scenic and hospitable country. I notice here on Aegina Island that huge tourist coaches are on the increase. They careen these mountain roads on a race to the sites before returning to the ferry for the dash to the next island of their one-day tour.
But this is not what I am talking about. Not about bargain holidays or stretching a travel budget. I am talking about how in Greece right now we can give a little and have it return a great deal more.
Every country is known primarily by its collective cultural persona. The national character is perceived by the behavior of politicians, bureaucrats and the effect of its economic skill and power in the global game. And when a country is disadvantaged by these standards, the world rushes in to take advantage. Or so it seems.
I despair when I hear what others say of Greece outside of the country, "the people brought it on themselves," "'they're lazy" "they're looking for a handout." But I know a different reality. In fact I am an active participant in a different reality. And here it is.
Underneath the skin of the collective national persona are 11 million plus stories. I am one of them. I am Philhellene. I chose to come here from a more "advantaged" country because there is a pulse to this land that is hard to measure by our material standards. It is beguilingly beautiful from north to south and east to west including its hundreds of islands with such diversity of ancient mountains, teal blue seas and rich arable lands. In the still-wild mountains, herbs and wildflowers grow in unmolested natural abundance. Six thousand species of flora and 200 species of olive trees offer up a precious pharmacopeia unmatched in most other lands.
Saturday, 8 August 2015


In our journey to Ancient Olympia apart from wonderful landscapes we also met wonderful people. One of them was Dimitris Kirkiles is a tourist shop owner in Ancient Olympia.

He was born and raised in Ancient Olympia. He moved to Francefor about three years, where he studied Graphic Arts, while working in order to meet the costs of his studies. Healso got to know the people and the magnificent France. After returning to his hometown, he took over, from his father, the business, which is associated with the Greek Folk Art.

As he said, his life was, and is, a never-ending search for the "secrets of the art of construction and decoration of the Ancient Greek Vase".  After several years, the labors and sacrifices began to bear fruit, acquiring the ability to manufacture replicas of vases and figurines with the unique and unsurpassed art of our ancestors. Indeed, due to the texture of his work, for years he contacted with visitors from around the world (university professors, archaeologists, historians). They realised that his knowledge was of a high level. He gave many lectures at universities of archeology and art history (The University of Richmond in Virginia - Maryland, Georgetown - Omaha, Nebrasca - Ohaio - Alabama, as in The University McGill in Montreal Canada). Today you can meet him in his shop in Ancient Olympia like we met him and had a constructive dialogue, while learning about his hobby and work as an angiographer.

What do we mean by Angiography?

"Angiography"; (Αγγειογραφία in Greek)  the word itself indicates the script (γραφή) on a vessel (Αγγείο). In ancient times, the word zoography – (painting in Greek) was not used, because zoography (animal + write) means writing the form of an animal on a surface, see pictures of animals in ancient caves from 35.000 to 25.000 BC Lascho in France. At this time, as they wrote, so they painted, this resulted in linear painting. Indeed, painters signed the vases decorated with the word "egrafsen" (meaning “wrote”).

What incentive “motivated”you to become an angiographer?

Born and raised in a unique sacred place called Ancient Olympia, which is the cradle of culture and history from ancient times and coming into contact with the unsurpassed works of our Greek ancestors and especially their vessels whose decorations teach us about their daily lives, habits and history, a great love for their study and reproduction in all seasons, regions and decorations were born inside of me. Do not forget that "love built the universe."

What knowledge and skills do you need to become a painter?

To become a painter, most important is the love for the subject and the knowledge of design and history. Apart from the technical aspect, to have studied thoroughly and carefully the lines of the drawings so as to be able to put them to the proper format so that they are not distorted.

Is it  an art that requires constant study?

Angiography is a limitless art, because in ancient times, the vessel, apart from being a container of daily use, was a work of art and history. It was reflecting the unsurpassed sensitivity, delicacy and perfection of lines and their design. Also reflecting, each of the people’s  activities to their daily life (love, war, myths, religion, sports, and even death). The same vessels and their technique "defeated death” and got above and beyond their borders on the planet." Angiography in Ancient Greece is the oldest (7000 BC -323 BC) and also the richest in themes, writing issues and production centers.

Bronze Age (Crete- Cyclades- Mycenae)

Attica (geometric - black figure - Red – white backgrounded)

Corinthian (with oriental animal and bird drawings exported to Egypt)

The subsoil, not only in our country, but on the whole planet hides buried Ancient Greek vases and the deeper you dig, the more you will discover. Until today we have only a small sample of the greatness of our ancestors, those who have taught and continue to teach and other artists (such as Picasso, Matisse, Cocteau, Pheasant etc.).

For an angiographer, the most important thing is the love for the object ...

A work in this art, depicts with unsurpassed sensitivity, delicacy and perfection each action in everyday life ...


Just a week after the NO to austerity, vote by the Greeks by 62% on July 5th, Tsipras agreed to the greatest austerity measures in Greece since the begining of "crisis" (July 11th)!!!   

The greatest sacking of a country in peaceful times!!! (By our "partners" former Crusaders).

Tsipras and SYRIZA have lost the support of the Greeks (Hellenes) and their end is inevitable.
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