Greek Growth

The two art exhibitions that are here until the end of September couldn’t be more different. And you must know from the start that I fell in love with several of the pictures at just one of them

The first show pays hommage to the icons of the Byzantine tradition (www.moca-andros.gr – B and E Goulandris Foundation). Images like these are still popular in Greece and many of them on show here are the work of living artists.

03  (C Artemis 1955: A Soutzos Museum)

The second exhibition looks at another kind of recent Greek art, some that gets caught up in the country’s present economic and political woes (In Medias Res – P and M Kydoniefs Foundation).

Revelation 2010, 70x60cm,  oil on canvas RAIL_ ROAD_ CROSSING_2013_90X1

Both these paintings and the one below are by Ioanna Kafida.

Painful as it is to let go of so many traditions, the ideas of the past must move away to let in the new. This is a familiar story in evolutionary biology where time and again catastrophes give a way to clear out the old baggage.

There were also icons in nineteenth century science, such as Richard Owen‘s anatomical blueprint which was thought to be a model for the design of all vertebrates.

th-8

He believed this body-plan was their iconic model through time –  and he always stood by it!

Owen11   th-2

Now, we understand some of the many ways species adapt to sudden changes in the environment. In this global system organisms migrate, they mutate and adapt, grow from past strengths to new conditions, reject old structures that don’t fit any more. There is honest opportunism which leads to growth of populations, that is, until the next catastrophe.

CAN_ WE _PLANT_ LOVE_2013_50x50cm_oi_on_canva_site_

In Kafida ‘s third painting, the father has tried to adapt to the new environment, in this case new technology, but at the cost of loving his son. The boy is waiting for something to happen, a response from his father, the tree behind him to spring into leaf; or he can always fly away with the birds.

All these situations must have links between past and present, between the self and others. We all live in a dynamic, ever-changing global system.

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