Δέδυκε µὲν ἀ σελάννα
καὶ Πληΐαδες, µέσαι δέ
νύκτες, πάρα δ’ ἔρχετ’ ὤρα,
ἔγω δὲ µόνα κατεύδω.
(Σαπφω, Δέδυκε µὲν ἀ Σελάννα)
The moon and the Pleiades have set,
it is the middle of the night,
time is passing,
but I lay down alone.
(Sappho, Midnight Poem)
The Moon and the Pleiades2 star cluster, set/vanish at midnight during a specific time period; spring, signifying the passing of wintertime and the beginning of time/beauty3.
A series of images created during a 15-month stay (2019-2020) on the island of Lesvos, Greece, and specifically in the small village of Antissa, just 9 km away from Eressos, home of the lyric poet Sappho. The poet’s inspiration was imminent throughout: the isolated, wild, and “mooncrazed” land- and sea-scapes. Spring time elevates those characteristics; the moon setting the pace. Wordless conversations, similar to those of princess Kaguya+ start to form, as a means of coping and communication. “Talks” about what has been lost, in order to maintain what is still left.
My time/beauty/youth goes by,
And I sleep alone”
1Jellyfish: From the Japanese 海月, meaning sea moon.
2Pleiades: from Ancient Greek, derives from plein (“to sail”) because of the cluster’s importance in signifying the sailing
season. Also known as The Seven Sisters open star cluster.
3Time: In ancient Greek the meaning of time could be expressed with the word χρόνος, meaning the objective concept of time, and the word ώρα, pertaining to a specific time period during which something is at its “best”, and therefore can be called ωραιο=beautiful; thus, joining the concept of beauty/youth and time.
+Princess Kaguya: princess from the Moon who is discovered as a baby inside of a glowing bamboo plant. Her beauty attracts five suitors, whom she turns away by challenging them each with an impossible task. She later attracts the affection of the Emperor of Japan. During one of her many conversations with the moon, her celestial origin is revealed, and she is supposed to forget all that has happened on Earth and return to the Moon.