The spring session has begun here on Paros at the Aegean Center. The students have mostly all arrived, riding in on the winds and waves. It poured rain all day yesterday and the streets turned into small rivers. By last night the clouds had rolled away and today is sunny and bright. I have many thoughts running through my head, so many raindrops, really, and in many cases just as discarnate. Add them up, however, and they are a flood, a river of their own. I found it comforting to stop thinking. I loaded up some Plus-X, grabbed my tripod and headed down the now undimmed streets of Paroikia. Action, not thinking, always improves my day.
I will be painting again this session. I will also apply the finishing touches on a large format photography project that I began last year, a series of portraits of people I know here on Paros. They are students, ex-pats, local Parians…My Greek barber, Nikos, for instance, as well as the English owner of a local cafe. A motley crew to be sure. I will finish the principle photography and printing in the next three months, bring all the final proofs to Athens and have them matted and framed. I hope to accomplish this before the end of June when I head back to America for a month. When I return in August I will hang the show and open the exhibit. It will be the culmination of my work here at the Center, my Masters Thesis in Photography, if you will. I have no idea where the show will be. I’ll stick my neck out again. So far that hasn’t been the most successful venture here on Paros. I have lost my head more times than not (certainly gaining wisdom) but what choice do I have? “Action and more action…”, as they say…What follows my exhibition is anyone’s guess. I suddenly feel lost at sea with the prospect of September.
I will be assisting again in the darkroom with the students, as I did last fall, so my energies will be focused on their work more than my own. Like the weather moving in circles, alternating rain, sun wind and calm, the Aegean Center is part of the cycle of change. I cannot do much except sit back and trust the process, let the story write itself and accept the results. Once again, to assume anything would be foolish, self-serving and arrogant. As of this morning I am excited to work with five or six (maybe seven) students, some who have never handled silver emulsion and some with more knowledge. We shall see how the session evolves. I remember having many preconceived notions of photography when I arrived here on Paros three years ago. They were soon dashed in favor of a new and vibrant dynamic. As a lotus blossom, spring unfolds…