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The room of the Benefactors and the Exiled.

The emigrant (1)

The emigrant (2)

A tribute to the benefactors (1)

A tribute to the benefactors (2)

A shrine dedicated to the benefactors

Terracotta Epirotic figures

Easter dance at Helliniko

Ceramics

Portraits of teachers

A series of ceramic heads

The spindle is a symbol for the Epirote woman

Designs of erotic pieces

THE ROOM OF THE BENEFACTORS AND THE EXILED

 

Immediately on the left we enter the last door, in the third large room, of the Benefactors and the Exiled, as we have called it. It is to these that it is dedicated, together with its sculptures. Opposite, as soon as the visitor enters, he will see a human figure sitting on the bench with a suitcase. I wanted it to have a loneliness about it, a desolation, as I imagine the first moments of arrival in foreign parts had.

Opposite, on raised steps, there are four large human figures. Ghost figures, something like the souls of the benefactors, eldritch, distant, dematerialised, ornamented, in strange costumes, with loose capes, denoting wealth, recognition, advancement. These sculp­ tures too are made from the results of burning, burnt wood, nails, but also other kinds of material, poor, lowly, discarded, which stir up strange memories, matched with respect and love in their honour. And among them a censer with a lamp, which are there symbolically for their souls – for the souls of those amazing people who grew old in exile, but didn’t forget their native place; who lived with a longing and nostalgia for their poor and enslaved homeland .
All of us can imagine how much poorer our country would have been without their contribution.

As soon as we enter the room, three gigantic distaffs with the spindles incorporated into them, like mothers with their children, rise up on the left. It was somewhat like this that I saw the distaff with the spindle, as they were held in their hands by the women of the village as they spun the thread ceaselessly with the children on their back, in order to keep their hands free, so that they wouldn ‘t idle for a moment. Women with almost supernatural strengths. This is why the distaffs are gigantic, just as the plumb line weight of the mason is.

The showcase which stands on the right of the door as you go in begins with a ceramic sketch of a migrant, with ceramic female figures and compositions of birds, and ends with a group of female figures with their children strapped on the backs. They are Epirot women as I remember them, loaded with their children, listening for them and at the same time with their work in their hands. Heroic people!

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