Sunday Supplement: Achean adventure and Cruise thru Cubes
I’m in Greece mode. It all started the other night when I was channel flicking in a desperate attempt not to go to bed which means the inevitable rise the following morning for work. In the process, I staggered upon the film version of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin starring Nicholas Cage and Penelope Cruz and I was entranced. Despite having the film on DVD in my cabinet and having seen it at the cinema when it first came out, I’ve always dismissed the film to some extent because, like many other fans of the sensational Louis De Bernieres original novel, I was pretty upset about how much the film changed the charm, and crucially the ending of the book. I wasn’t best pleased about the casting of Cage as Captain Corelli either, who I had always imagined to be a short, rotund charismatic fellow.
Nevertheless, when I caught a glimpse of the film, it entered my flat, descended with the rest of the UK into a renewed wintery gloom, with a much needed breath of fresh summery air. Who cannot be seduced by the stunning cinematography of the film which was set exclusively on the island of Cephalonia, as De Bernieres had intended.
So all of this has sparked off a Greek revival in my flat. Greece has been getting a lot of bad press recently, what with financial disaster threatening to instigate a total collapse of the single European currency, and countless violent strikes and protests reacting against the suffocating austerity budgets imposed across the county. But while its coffers may be found wanting, what Greece does have is a wealth of cultural and historical richness which is almost unrivalled, not to mention a cluster of beautiful island destinations, each with their own individuality and incredibly picture-postcard views.
I was lucky enough to visit the Greek islands twice during my gap year back in 2001/2, first piggybacking with my sister upon my parents’ wedding anniversary celebratory cruise around the Aegean Sea, and later in the year, joining two very good friends for a little island hopping around the Ionian Islands of which Cephalonia is one. While I would love to return to these gorgeous lands, where empty beaches and crystal clear waters can be found in their plenty, along side charming crumbling houses, and dry arid landscapes and mountain passes, I have in the meantime satisfied myself by grabbing the Captain Corelli DVD and watching the film through not once, but twice. I have also been cooking dish after dish of Greek treats (hopefully to be featured on my blog sometime this week) and now, for your viewing pleasure, I’m featuring two of the paintings I completed back in my gap year, at the ripe age of 18, when I first visited Greece on my parents’ anniversary cruise.
The first painting, Achean Adventure (2001), reflects not only upon the cruise liner, which can be seen emerging from the Greek flag, but also the antiquity which features predominantly across Greece (and which had a particular fascination for me having just completed my A-Level classics studies at the time) and the beautiful Grecian landscapes such as this one, of the island of Santorini.
The second painting, Cruise Thru Cubes (2001) works like a multilayered exploration of our cruise around the Aegean Sea. Uncover various layers of the painting, and you see the cruise liner having docked and sailed in a variety of different destinations across the cruise, amongst them Mykonos (on the right) and Santorini (on the left).
It’s good to give these paintings a good airing. Completed over ten years ago, they were some of my earliest painting attempts, and Achean Adventure was sold shortly after I painted it when it was first exhibited in Sussex.
Hopefully this post will bring a little mediterranean sunshine into your Sunday especially if, like mine, it’s gloomy like hell. I’d better sign off now… I feel the need to shop around for a cheap trip to Cephalonia…
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