THE OLIVE TREE

- George Vorres

George Vorres - Honorary President - Vorres Museum

From the moment that goddess Athena struck the earth with her spear, she offered the world and civilization the Olive tree. Concurrently she rendered the city her name. Athens acquired its name and holiness from the goddess, while the olive tree hence assumes a dominant place in the illustration and context of Greek vilization.

It becomes an essential food, but also marks and gives meaning and expression to the cultural events henceforth. For the prizes of the Olympic Games, branches of wild olives are chosen and the winners are crowned with the renowned “kotinos”.

Up to the present day, the Olive tree has maintained its position as an outstanding symbol of our civilizations. It participates in multiple forms at religious ceremonies, the most prominent being Jesus praying on the Mount of Olives. The olive branch held by the pigeon, was for Noah the omen that human life on earth would recommence after the biblical cataclysm. It was with oil that the ancient Greeks gave offerings to the altars, but also anointed funerary stele and holy stones. According to mythology, the olive tree is a divine gift, the tree of good associated with rebirth and light. It constitutes a symbol of tranquility, protection, fertility, peace and victory, an emblem of immortality and euphoria.

It is the first time in its 35-year old operation, that the Vorres Museum exhibits engraving with Dimitra Gounari. Her work constitutes a comprehensive x-ray of the olive tree. Its body is imprinted with exceptional complexity, mirroring the vast experience of a perennial tree. The artist's tree conveys an immense experience formed by weather conditions. The water and winds that carved the body of the tree created its creases and wrinkles. They dug its twists and cavities. Its long life is etched in detail and this has been engraved with great precision and sensitivity by the artist on the casts of her engravings. Gounari calls this living monument, her “model”, because it uncomplainingly poses for her.

I believe that the artist succeeded in engraving each complexity of the experience and each singularity of the tough wood of the tree. The presentation of her engravings near their casts, give us a complete viewpoint of her work, liberating the engagement of masses in a galactic constellation.

George Vorres
Honorary President
Vorres Museum

Dimitra Gounari

Painter - Engraver

Graduated on painting and engraving at the Athens School of Fine Arts - at the Abbaye de la Cambre, Brussels - Engraving diploma at the Athens School of Fine Arts.

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