Thick with the eerie awe of the uncannyΔημοσιεύθηκε: Δεκεμβρίου 23, 2015 | |
My name is Angelos K. and since I was nominated contributor I am afraid I have written very few entries in this blog. Let’s say that I was saving my blogging skills for special occasions. And as I hope you can tell from the introductory picture, this is a special occasion. The place is Pezi plateau located on the western part of Ikaria island, Greece. The time is two years ago, between December and January 2013. The photographer is Thomas K. Shor, an American writer, photographer and traveller. He and his wife Barbara appeared out of the blue in Ikaria in the middle of a cloudy and rainy winter. During their stay we hiked (a little), we talked (a lot) and we became good friends. Apparently, they liked the island, because they visited us two times. Between their visits I had the chance to read two of Thomas’s books, «A Step Away from Paradise» and «The Master Director» and although I know very little about the places where the action takes place, I liked both of them very much.
While in Ikaria Thomas often carried a camera but I didn’t pay much attention to the fact. Americans are well-known to carry cameras. Until one day when he came to the house and showed to me a pack of high quality B/W prints. Knowing that I am a hiker and an amateur photographer, and therefore, I was familiar with the locations and the subjects, he asked for my opinion about his work. I was all admiration! As a matter of fact, I couldn’t keep my fingers off those prints! Through the years I have seen a lot of great pictures from the desolate landscapes of our mountains but these ones were special. Moreover, they were 100% «Ikaria» and not, as it so often happens, overprocessed creations which, no matter how beautiful they are, I label them «fiction» and I don’t usually give them a second glance.😕
I immediately told Eleni about Thomas work and as most of her blog is dedicated to photography, she told me to ask for Thomas’s permission and left the door open for me to get in and post an entry. And so I did.
As is the way of this blog, the pictures below work as clickable «mirrors» reflecting the originals inside Thomas’s website. In spaces between them I have inserted quotes from his presentation which I thought was very to the point. Especially that phrase in the last paragraph which (on Eleni’s suggestion) made the title of this entry: «Thick with the eerie awe of the uncanny«. Because we love ghost stories in Ikaria. How couldn’t we? Just take a look of those shots! Thomas has managed to show that these shapes, these shades, these forms, are alive. More than that, they can talk and tell stories!
..........Copyright © 2015 Thomas K. Shor. All rights reserved........
«THE ISLAND OF IKARIA is distinctive for various reasons. It remains to this day an untouristed backwater where people are largely self-sufficient and unusually independently minded. It has been labeled one of the “Blue Zones,” with the highest percentage of people in their nineties on the planet.»
«Historically, it was the poorest island in the Aegean. It is also one of the lushest, with numerous springs and rivers and forests of pine and oak.»
«Yet the landscape photographs I have been taking over the course of a couple of extended stays reflect nothing of this lushness and hardly depict any people.»
«The island is long and thin, a single mountain ridge rising sharply out of the Aegean Sea not far from the coast of Turkey. At the top of this ridge, topped by numerous 3,000 foot (1,000 meter) peaks, is a landscape that haunted and excited me from the moment I set eyes on it.»
«It is a desolate and windswept land of exposed granite carved by the elements into bizarre shapes and balancing boulders. The granite has a mysterious propensity to take the form of living beings.»
«The trees are stunted and the bushes thorny. It can change from bright sun to near impenetrable fog at such a speed as to be entirely disorienting.»
«The atmosphere is often reminiscent of the stories of Edgar Allen Poe, thick with the eerie awe of the uncanny. The beauty of the place is raw and the solitude profound. This series of photographs, taken on the mountain’s many moods, reflects both the landscape and what it did to me.»
...Blogged with permission of the author © 2015 Thomas K. Shor. All rights reserved...
Wednesday, December 24, 2015