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September 15, 2006

Olives and metal - two contrasting art exhibitions in Hania's harbour area

Olivesmostprecious Over the weekend I visited two rather contrasting art exhibitions around the Hania harbour area.

The first was in the old mosque, and was by the artist Sevasti Bolanou. Called "Olive, most precious" it was billed as:

A collection of natural collages, imaginatively combining every part of the olive tree, from its leaves and branches to its bark and fruit, in a uniquely artistic way.

I have to say it wasn't really my kind of thing at all. There were a series of collages making pictures of trees out of trees, and then much smaller pieces in photo-frame style mountings. It was, though, one of the better laid out exhibitions I've seen in that space, and particularly effective was a central table where the various works were lit by candles.

I much preferred the second exhibition I saw, Ο Κριτικός Πόλεμος 1645-1669 (or "The Cretan War 1645-1669) by Κωστής Π. Δολαψής-Κρασανάχης.

The work consisted of a series of etched and beaten metal panels, with intricate designs depicting the 24 year struggle for the island between Turkish troops seizing Hania and Rethymno, and the final fall of Iraklio after a brutal siege. The different facets of the metal brought out a whole range of colours as the light struck them, and the effect was very pleasant. I was astonished at the fineness of the detail.

Cretanwarbrochure This exhibition was on at KAM, and the artist himself was on hand to meet and greet people. Sadly, photographs were not allowed in KAM, but I did take away a brochure. This picture gives you some idea of the kind of things on display.

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