It’s been several days now, at the beginning of February, where the first enough snow fell in Stemnitsa and it was a moment I was waiting for maybe since last year in the spring. There are some photography projects that I have envisioned, but I need the right set, light, snowy forest, model, etc. This happens a lot in my mind when it comes to my artistic pursuits. For years I can have ideas about dance performance art, photography, video making or painting and just have to wait for the right conditions to execute it. It takes patience and trust in the vision.
One of those snowy days I had asked my fellow student Despina to model for a photo concept I had. So we started for the forest, about a twenty minute walk from the village. By the time we arrived the sun had come out and a lot of snow had melted and besides we hadn’t had time to prepare properly. So the images we got our hands on are not 100% what I would have liked, but I hope March brings us more snow so I can get another chance to click white landscapes.
A great source of inspiration in my work is ancient Greek (and not only) mythology. The way the girl stood in front of the lens, she strongly referred me to the Nymphs. I have written about them before in another article which you can read by clicking here: NYMPHS. An interesting piece of information is that Nymphs are divided into categories, like Elves in Norse and Anglo-Saxon mythology. One of the classes was the Amadryades (or Dryads), whose name means tree and woman at the same time.
Pines, firs and oaks began to grow the moment an Amadryada’s life began. They were sacred trees with a long lifespan and therefore loggers were forbidden to cut them down. When a Nymph was about to die, first her tree died (withered) on earth. Once upon a time a Nymph, where she danced with her fellows, turned pale when she saw her oak tree swaying, then full of worry she left the dance and soon the bark of the tree withered, the branches fell and at the same time the Nymph’s soul flew away, bidding farewell to the light of the Sun.
It’s beautiful how people have been connected to nature in the past, in all cultures. The fact that they understood that they were part of the rest of creation and therefore must be respected in order to prosper. I think that as man evolves he departs from his nature, but at the same time this leads to his problems. We are a tragic being here… A real development might be that the more we understand the way the universe works, the more we end up knowing nothing. So that we accept everything around us, with confidence, without always wanting to explain it. But we said… the tragedy of man…
My model was lovely and patient, although almost barefoot and freezing she did everything I asked and her spirits remained high.
Thank you Despoina!
And here you see me trying to throw a snowball at Athena who was standing a few meters away. Now I see that Despina here is indeed like a winter fairy the way she holds the snow.
I will soon return to my favorite forest outside Stemnitsa. It’s my sanctuary after all.