Saturday, 22 November 2014

Pebbles from Anafi: working on a commission

I was delighted to receive a commission to work on a set of four pebbles which came from the Greek island of Anafi. This remote Aegean island has been close to my heart for many reasons. Its ragged landscape and unique atmosphere have been woven with a time long ago when I was innocently carefree. Anafi has also a special place in my family's history. My grandfather, member of a left-wing organization in the 1920s, has been a political exile there in 1929. As a historian I am intrigued by the stories he has never told. For me Anafi has always been a special place. So it was with great pleasure that I received in the post these four pebbles collected from Anafi's Kleisidi beach by Professor of Social Anthropology Margaret Kenna, who through her extensive research on Greek political exiles in Anafi has been closely associated with the island and its history.

I see the pebbles as palimpsests of time and memory: layers that consist of Anafi the place, of texts about the place, of the marks on the pebbles themselves and of the marks a person leaves on a place. The work will be a fusion of stone, paper and words. Transparent paper will be layered and attached on the pebbles following their natural grains and letting their texture show through. The text which will be typewritten (a reference to Margaret's 1960s typewriter on which she has typed her findings) on the paper will comprise fragments from Apollonius Argonautica describing the emergence of Anafi from the sea and/or etymological references to the name of the island. The pebbles are meant to be displayed stacked with the text following from one pebble to the next. The outline of the island (a cut-out from 16th-century map image) will emerge from the top pebble just above the foam-white ridge of the stone. 

The inspiration board I've created shows the work in progress. Hope to write more as the ideas evolve.

The work will appear on Inklinx.


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