LADY OF THE LIGHTHOUSE

Lady of the Light House

Around 2005 – he doesn’t know for sure because he isn’t his own annalist- he was “ready” for his first monumental work, the “Lady of the Light House”. The big piece came into being during the breaks between cooking and serving. Immediately, interested parties appeared. A car salesman from Athens, obviously artsy-fartsy, realized the talent of Nikos and offered him 25.000 euros for the “Lady of the Light House”. But Nikos refused: “One does not sell one’s firstborn.”

Already during the work on the “Lady of the Light House”, the idea for another, probably even more monumental sculpture, his “Sheperd”, matured in Nikos. This one exists solely in his head to these days and he starts fantasizing intensely about him after the second glass, grateful for every incitation of his focussed listeners. He seems a little bit like the legendary Alexis Sorbas then during the development of his mining project on Crete.

The first working title of the “Lady of the Light House” was “Kalliste” – the “Most Beautiful”, as was the pre-classical name of the island prior to the massive eruption in the second millennium B.C. when the volcano was still perfect and looked like a Mount Fuji rising from the Aegean. From this first successful result in sculpturing g onwards, Nikos was taken serious and took himself serious. First playful attempts had become profession and passion.

Nikos sheds a light on the contents of his work: the lighthouse, erected decades ago by the Greek navy administration at a prominent spot where the open sea flows into the caldera, has always been one of the best places to fish on Santorini due to different currents, water temperatures and abundance of nutrients. Nikos knows the place since his youth; he dived here countless times during harpoon hunting big fish without wearing scuba equipment. It is his favourite spot on the island; the spot where his soul has dropped anchor the tightest in his island home.

The female figure tightly linked with the rock is symbolizing hope and safety of the fishermen and sailors. She is bearer of hope for good hauls and secure return from the sea – patron of the island and her seafaring children who make a living off the sea. Like a figurehead she is glued to the rock of Akrotiri and is a part of the island, linked with it inseparable, and is a personalisation of the stone “ship” named “Santorini”.

The motive design is following the outer form of the stone content-wise. The stone tapers at the top. From there, the picture idea of the lighthouse quite naturally developed. The plateau of the tower is being accessed from the sides and from the rear by steep stairways. The spectator “climbs” somehow the beautiful woman and reaches “enlightenment” at the peak, at the lighthouse fire of Cape Akrotiri, the old storm-struck cliff of the sailors and the travellers of Santorini.

Contact

Akrotiri Beach, Santorini, Greece

melinastavernsantorini@gmail.com

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