It’s been almost four years now since my artistic and humanistic interests, somehow always combined in me, have turned towards urban life, societies, communities, cityscapes, public sphere transformations and a thorough research of the needs that we develop while living together in a postmodern, universally connected but unevenly growing world with a heavy historical and political past.
I believe that this focus in my visual attempts occurred at my return to my homeland Greece after my studies and travelling abroad, because it coincided with the big financial and refugee crisis which affected everyone and everything I was being surrounded by, including myself of course.
As a Psychotherapist through Art I work a lot with populations subjected to oppression, especially children and ill persons, so I realized that when we (are afraid to) lose our lives, when we are on the edge or mistreated, what we long for is not only food and supplies, but also to dream on, to play, to feel capable and free to create for pleasure, to recreate our destiny.
It was then that with my patients but also mostly wondering about alone in Thessaloniki, I started teasing the difficult reality, the identical grey blocks of cheap residential buildings and the lack of valuable space, by, firstly, eliminating the day noise, and, secondly, by coloring the night. After experimenting with many techniques on a specific corpus of photographs taken in some backyards at night, I remembered my first film photography classes and the whole procedure between negative and positive images in the dark room. I decided that this is what I wanted to show: neither the good nor the evil alone, but the best elements of both assembled.
Finally, I took all the pictures again in daylight and turned them into their negative option. This trick kept the lines and details which were not visible at the night shooting and in the same time it gave the shadows, figures and objects a fairy and festive illustration coverage. Except from the pleasant result, quite original and eye-capturing, this whole project put me into some useful thoughts about the therapeutic impact of such esthetic endeavors: without erasing the past and admitting the darkness of our times, we can still survive in/with some amount of desired beauty. It’s called endurance and resilience.
About Anastasia Deligianni
She is an Art Therapist specialized in using Visual Arts, Drama, Music and Dance techniques to help body and soul healing. She has studied and worked in many different countries and cultures (Greece, France, Ireland, Turkey) with various populations. She is also a freelance artist using the means of photography and video to record and narrate the place of human being in the environment. [Official Website]