After the series ANDROMEDA AND PLEIADES whose inspiration began from the decapitated phallus of Delos, I spent a long time thinking about my next project. This idea of PERSONAL MYTHOLOGY came to me as I studied the nude physiques of live models during my artistic education at the Art Students League of New York and the Sculpture School of Saint Paraskevi of Athens. The models stood still, often standing in difficult poses, reminding me of certain moments from my own life. Watching them, the idea of THE UNBEARABLE EMPTINESS OF ABSENCE was born.
I have not fictionalised this personalised mythology. I lived it, experiencing its myriad joys and sufferings through this unfinished journey of my own life and my companions. At times, I left behind my companions after moments of pause. Sometimes I was indifferent, at other times I stood besides them, often I was distracted. Sometimes, I stayed longer than I should have, more than I could bear and longer than was necessary. There were times when I was trapped, when I stayed and laid roots and flourished, harvesting fruit. But then typhoons arrived with no warning and denuded me of all my harvest. All of my harvest, though? Truly all of it?
Life is long and unpredictable. At times I was Nafcika and at other time Calipso, Kirki, Erato. At moments I was Aphrodite and at other times, Psyche. At times I stood like Amazon and later as an real woman. I was walking towards my goal but my goal was always a metre ahead of me. Stories and names taken from mythology and The Odyssey became one with my own personal journey.
Deep inside, secretly, I was always Penelope, Penelope of Odysseus.
And you, the lost traveller, on your own never ending journey of return to the same Ithaca were at times Zeus, at other moments Poseidon, at times Jason, others Apollo, always passing by but never in a hurry. By now, you had become a historical, wandering lover.
You were moving from port to port, ending absences as you settled into the arms of many longing embraces. You made journeys of departure, of homecoming, always making trips of Eros. Eros, the amazing Eros. The art of leaving. Only the unforgettable Liantinis could describe it as such: “to leave in such a way that you, the leaver, are rendered so deeply wounded that your pain is greater than the wound you have inflicted on the abandoned.”
Like this Odysseus, the empty embrace remains always filled by love. Love that no one can forbid you to feel, no one can stop you from living it. Love, the art of staying. To stay in an embrace full of love, even if the one you long to embrace is absent.
This marriage of the two series, THE UNBEARABLE EMPTINESS OF ABSENCE and THE WANDERING LOVER, created my PERSONAL MYTHOLOGY. The mythology of Man and the myths of Woman, the beginning and the end of Eros, the cycle of fertility. All the roles of life are suitable to Man, the peripatetic traveller, the wandering lover. All the roles of life are suitable to Woman, ageless and beyond time, the mother Psyche and Penelope of everyone, she can live all these roles as necessary, carrying them along the chains of her DNA to pass from mother to daughter from the beginning of time to now and forever.