North Pagan

In 2017, early January, I joined for the first time the annual traditional feasts happening on multiple villages in north-central Greece. Their ritual origins and symbolical use can be tracked back at the old multi-god religion times of the area. The main aim is to expel symbolically the evil spirits upon the new year.
The way people achieve that is by getting dressed up looking like beasts by using animal skins and horns and changing their human characteristics, walking around through all neighbourhoods, wearing bells and making continuous noise, dancing around hand by hand, teasing and pretending friendly fighting with others.
All this scene is combined with the ecstatic traditional south balkan music with Balkan Bagpipes, Zourna and local drums. These creatures’ mysterious mix behaviour that looks like a choreography is what teased me to reasearch and work in many ways on that topic from then on. I find it vital for my perception, to spotlight, through my artwork, this special kinesiology that they adopt right after putting on masks and costumes.
They manage to partly distort the commonly acceptable gestures of our society, by sliping easily from rough friendly-mode into gentle fighting-mode always with consent, which is the No1 rule, and joy from both sides, like an imporvised street theater play, let’s say.
In my North Pagan woodcut I decided to use as a basic visual reference four photographs shot during those feasts. Two of them show scenes of obviously friendly postures, and the other two photos show us fighting possition scenes, always two persons interacting.
I drew, customized these scenes and curved with love on 4 different square-format woodblocks 14x14cm size, isolating the essentials through my point of view, and having an aim to come up with a vertically placed Totem of Mutual Consent. 

4 pressed woodblocks on Tonzeichenpapier 130 g/ qm with deep purple custom offset ink
Signed and limited series of 40 original woodcut prints.

Size of the paper: 68x17cm
Size of each single woodblock: 14x14cm

Shortlisted/Showcased work in: Tokyo(Japan), Berlin(Germany), Cronach(Germany)

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