New York.- By Vicki James Yiannias
It seems that the camera was invented just for Dionysia Alexiadi’s spectacular photographs of Greece.
“A Journey Through Greece”, an exhibition of 46 photographs at the Consulate General of Greece in New York through May 19, coincides with the Greek News’ 5th annual Let’s Go to Greece campaign, and if you are already experiencing “nostos” for Greece, this show will make you weep: An island-scape like a coloring book, the roofs of houses crayon-bright; ancient ruins glimpsed through myrtle branches on a hot day, the sound of cicadas in the air; a stark cross on the white dome of an signature island church above a dazzling blue sea; aqua water lapping against a primeval rock jutting up out of another deep blue sea; a wild red stripe of poppies slashes a green field stretching before the backdrop of a black mountain.
Greece is just one of Mrs. Alexiadi’s subjects, however. Over the last years she has travelled and taken photographs in many destinations unknown to her–China, America, Peru, Argentina, Cuba, exotic islands, the Arctic seas, Africa and Europe–taking photographs. Many of these are in her two books, “Travelling-Images of the World” (Sideris, 2005), and “Travelling… east”, pictures from Southeast Asia. “I feel particularly happy to have the opportunity to travel, to discover, to enjoy the beauties of our planet and to capture them with my camera!” she writes on her webpage, her goal being to “photographically depict life in those regions, their landscape and their customs.”
What initially inspired her passion for photography, Alexiadi writes, were her memories of her native Zakynthos. “The island’s natural beauties, the sun casting its shadows and unique reflections of light, the sea–boundless, dreamlike and inexorable–and finally, the land enriched by century-old trees, blossomed valleys and fragrances from the gardens. All these equipped me with a certain intuitive gift that nature offers generously to its natives. People who are able to balance the Greek spirit with the culture of Venice, people with an insatiable passion for Aesthetics and Art, idealists, travelers and dreamers full of rhythm and poetry.”
She describes her travels as extending “From the blue colors of the Aegean Sea up to the frozen waters of Finland and the green waters of the Amazon. From Myanmar (Burma) to Vietnam and Cambodia. From the mountains of China up to the peaks of the Andes in South America and from the Coral reef islands in the Indian Ocean up to the Greek islands, from the self-constructed boats of the Uru Indians of Peru up to the ice-breaking boats of the frozen Arctic Ocean, and finally from the tango of Argentine to the ritual dances of the Zulu.”
The journalist Titos Athanasiades writes that Dionysia “continues to travel all around the world, not only to explore the landscape, as it is formed in the different geographical latitudes and longitudes, but also to capture it with her camera. In this way she can carry it always with her and remember the experiences she has lived, but also make us aware of the serenity or wild beauty of nature and her impressive and sometimes bizarre aspects.” To Vima wrote of her work, “People, things and traditions that capture every corner of the world, have found their place in her lens and the colored photographs that emerged, compose a very interesting mosaic…”
Dionysia Alexiadi studied photography under the photographer Alkis Xanthakis, at the AKTO School of Photography, where she graduated in 1981. She also studied painting during her five-year stay in London. She received a diploma in Interior Design and History of Art in 1989 and worked for many years as an Interior Designer.
She lives in Athens and is married to Alex Alexiades. They have two sons, Nikitas and Nicholas.
Consulate General of Greece in New York, 69 East 79 Street
Exhibition hours: Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.