Faces and Masks – Nikos Vavdinoudis

 

Faces + Masks is a photographic series from Greek artist Nikos Vavdinoudis showing at the Hellenic Museum in Melbourne.

This series features modern costumed practices and obscure, fascinating rituals of eight rural villages in Northern Greece that have their origins in ancient Dionysian celebrations.

 
These ancient festivities are now celebrated during the Christian holiday of Epiphany and the Baptism of Christ and the particular practices of these villages are known for their elaborate, animalistic costumes.

 

The subsummation of ancient or pagan festivals into newer religious ones is a practice adopted by many religions; thereby allowing the dialogue between the ancient past and the present to remain virtually unbroken.

For more information go here:  http://www.hellenic.org.au/

 

 

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Oneiroi – Bill Henson

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ONEIROI is a photographic installation by Bill Henson that will be housed permanently at the Hellenic Museum.

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The photographs that make up ONEIROI incorporate priceless treasures from the award winning Benaki collection, Gods, Myths & Mortals. The exhibition represents over 8,000 years of Greek history and culture and comprises pieces of exquisite beauty and immense cultural significance.

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Henson’s unique style uses composition, chiaroscuro and the human form to create powerful, narrative driven works of art.

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For more information go here:  http://www.hellenic.org.au/

 

 

The Land of the Long White Cloud: Paua Shell

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Paua (pronounced Pah-Wah) is a univalve shellfish found only in New Zealand coastal waters.  Its unique for its wonderful lustre of irdescent blues, purples, pinks and greens.  The shell grows to over eight incheslong and can live well over fourty years.  Its flesh is edible and greatly valued by the Maori who use the shells as inlays in the eyes of their carvings.  Skin divers harvest the shell which has a heavy encrustations of marine growth and lime deposits.  This outer crust is removed to expose the shell’s full beauty in colour and lustre.  The finest shells are found off the coasts of Fiodland and Stewart Island in the far south of New Zealand.

Spiritually the paua resonate with beauty, healing, fortune, happiness, honesty, tranquility, intuition, psychic sight as well as inspiring the higher self and imagination. Connects to the crown, third eye and throat chakras and vibrationally can assist with immunity, GIT issues, heart, joint and muscle problems along with allergies and sensitivities.

(C) T. Georgitsis 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Land of the Long White Cloud: Stores with Spirit, South Island

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Recently got back from a vacation in New Zealand which was quite breathtaking and full of adventure.  Whilst I am still going through the 1,000 photos taken to share some of my adventures, I thought I’d post about some retail places of personal interest I came across in the South (where I spent most of my time):

The Outpost

We actually came across this place when heading to a crystal shop and I was pulled to have a look.  One of the best retail suppliers of quality semi-precious stone jewellery I have ever seen.  All pieces are sourced by the owner and then cut and set by a local jeweller which keeps the prices down and the quality superb.

Hetties

New Zealand’s oldest crystal shop and this was the only new age kind of store I could find in the area (they have a store in Queenstown). They get good quality Jade (Nephrite) and Paua (Shell) in tumbles/pieces as well as traditional and more modern set jewellery but I also found the quality of the other crystals they had were high grade.

Art and Craft Market

Only on saturdays and an absolute must for those who like hand made items direct from the artist themselves.

The jade carvers were especially of interest and I am a fan of Roger Cleghorn’s work as he sources the jade, argillite, bone and paua himself.

Cleghorn

I came across an this great potter John Kalb who digs and processes the clay locally himself when then moulds it and fires it.  It was so nice to see hand thrown pottery in more colours than the standard brown or blue.

Kalb

Lastly I love art especially modern style spray paint art and I came across Gwen Ash who does the most chic and contemporary paintings – the two I purchased resonated a modern Hekate and Sekhmet for me and I just loved the artists enthusiasm about her work.

Sprays and Threads

 

Spirit of Place: William Ricketts Sanctuary (Dandenong Mountains)

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I love nature and one of my favourite things to do, is go up to the Dandenong Mountains and explore the national parks.

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A few weeks ago I visited William Rickets Sanctuary which contains many mystical sculptures, immersed in the natural forest.

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William Rickets Sanctuary is part of Parks Victoria which acknowledges the original traditional Aboriginal owners.

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William Ricketts was an untrained Australian potter and sculptor who devoted a large part of his life creating Aboriginal centric sculptures to blend in with the natural landscape he placed them in, whilst sending the message to respect nature. He sepent 11 years traveling to Central Australia to be with the Pitjantjatjara and Arrernte people who vastly inspired his work. In the 70’s he spent a few years in India where he developed a love and empathy of their spirituality and philosophies which can be seen in his work.

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In 1934 William purchased the land now known as William Ricketts Sanctuary and named it Potters Sanctuary. He worked on various sculptures and works in this sanctuary until 1993.  In the 1960’s the Victorian Government bought the land from him and turned it into a national park and renamed it William Ricketts Sanctuary.  William remained its primary resident and continued his work until his passing in 1993.

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I found the place full of calm contemplation and it was very serene (even though the Dandenong main tourist road is just below it). The few tourists who were there at the time were very respectful and it was easy to navigate around the various paths and view the artwork.

 

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The whole place vibrated with a rich earthy power which refreshed and centered me.  I felt many devic energies around and as though I was in another plane of existence.

 

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I especially loved how the sculptures take into consideration the natural surroundings and provide various watering holes for the native animals and birds who live there.

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William Ricketts was an amazing artist who had a deep spiritual core which resonated in his work.  I am thankful that his legacy and message to respect nature and indigenous cultures lives on through his work.