In My Mind a Village Grew - The Village Krashos
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I ask Chrisula, Tell me about the village. I ask and then I listen Close. But the answer pulls her away and then comes scant. There are goat tracks and nothing. No electricity. Nothing. But in my child's head A village grew. Tall mountains populated by goats. Picking their way through a maze. Of goat tracks. Dirt. Dust. Mountains of uncovered soil. Sometimes dry and powdery. Tracks thick and thin. Sometimes green and lush triangles against a blazing sun. With an Australian Blue Sky in Greece. And my nana there young again. Alive again.
This series of works is about the imagined interior life of my beloved Nana Chrisoula, and the small village she grew up in, in Northern Greece. She left the village when she was sixteen, during Nazi occupation, and found a home in Australia. It must have been a traumatic experience, to live under occupation and to flee. Nana would not talk about the village, only saying there was nothing there, not even electricity, only goat tracks. When my daughter visited the village last year and met family there, the images she sent back were of a beautiful, bucolic, fertile valley. It was not at all what I had imagined. I realised that I had, since childhood, created an entire village in my head, along with characters and relatives who I had heard about but never met. This series of paintings is about that imagined village.