It began with lamp posts in 2005. There was a quayside in Ermioni, a boat on dry dock and an ornate iron lamp post looking out over the still water at sunset. Then there were more lamp posts in Bosnia, arcing around the gentle curve of a mountain road, leading to where…?
Now there are stone walls climbing and moving across the landscape of the Kyklades. They have been accompanied by electrical poles, maybe telephone lines, I am not sure…
I have been photographing them for the past few years, mixed in with all the rest. Driving back from an area here on Paros the other day I was struck by how these all are indications of the hand of man in an otherwise wild landscape. I have a choice. I can bemoan the state of affairs regarding these structures or embrace them as something more, strong vertical and horizontal lines, shadows of human needs. I have thought of lamp posts as bringers of light in the darkness, guidance along dim roads. The stone walls define our boundaries, of both self and property, for they are often too insignificant to keep any creature at bay. The poles signify communication over distances. Guidance, delineation and communication. I would post some examples, but I feel that everyone has an idea of what I am speaking of without the illustrations.
It is raining here. Last night the deluge dropped a hail of roaring ice in Paroikia. It woke me at 4AM. It also deposited all the red, sandy dust that has been blowing from the south, out of the deserts of North Africa. This is the scirocco. The air was clear this morning and as I drove south to visit some friends for coffee I marveled at the archipelago surrounding me: Sifnos, Serifos, Sikonos, Ios, Kimolos, Syros, Tinos, Andiparos…rugged walls ran through green hills, telephone lines stretched thinly into the blue distance and, even though the sun was bright, my heart was gladdened to see the occasional unlit streetlight along my path. If I came this way on a dark and stormy night I would not become lost in the tempest.