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Street stories: Life like a painting

01 May 2010 / 11:05:07  GRReporter
5096 reads

Emanuela Karastoyanova


Catherine Lemodeti is an artist from Latvia. Her story is a classic and touching at the same time. It is a prove that if fate decided to has a thing to say it can always do it, everywhere and without error. Catherine came one summer on vacation in the island of Crete. She has no idea that the choice of site will be fateful and that the ticket she bought would be a one way ticket... It turns out that the summer and the island of Crete hold her luck in their hands. But they wish her to be here on this land. The present which they make to her can not be returned... On the island is waiting for her, her better half, Yannis. Thus, although only 19 years old Katerina remains in Greece. Here she lives and works until today.

Life in Greece started for me over 12 years ago. I was born in Latvia in the town of Bauska. There I graduated from high school. At the age of 19 I found myself in Greece. It was quite accidental. See how good are the accidental things? They are like the joker. At the age of 19 one usually does not think about a marriage nor about any who knows how serious matters. It happened, however. I came to Crete, where people from all across northern Europe are coming. On the island I met my husband and I stayed here. I did not go back. Some people say to me, you were only 19 years old, were you not scared? Well, at the age of 19 years old one is still mature. It is a fact that in these years we are usually highly related with our families. But still a person is at an age, in which one decides what to do with his life. Since my man was here and we both felt good here, there was no reason to look for more things in life. And I knew that relationships sometimes fail because of the distance. So I decided that I will stay.

I believe that you either take the chance or not. In the life of each person not too many chances are given. Some people say: “I had no chance in my life”. This is not true. You were given chances, but you do not take advantage of them.

For the beginning I fought with enormous nostalgia. It was very difficult for me, I lived through a culture shock. The North is quite different from the South. If you go north from the north it is one thing. It is different thing when you go from north to south. My husband helped me a lot to adjust. He was at all times next to me in the true sense. The beginning was really difficult. The language sounded like Chinese. It did not sound to me like any other language. It is important however, how the person next to you has the patience to translate all the time.

Evidently from the perspective of time today I think he showed a great deal of patience. "What does this man say?" What's that saying? "- I was constantly asking him at that time. Adaptation and learning the language took their time. The studio also helped me a lot. Thanks to it little by little I began to have my own friends, people with interests similar to mine.

Living here I had to do something, I was starting a new life. I am an artist by education. But no artist makes exhibitions from the first day you begin to paint. A lot of hard work is needed. Only when time passes you realize that you have a specific and comprehensive work that you can show to the people. With my husband we decided that since I did not work anywhere I must do something that I like. This was a conversation that lasted 5-10 minutes. So I started looking for a studio, in which I could deal with drawing. In the beginning it all seemed like a great mountain, which had to pass. However, I found a studio near our house and so my relation with painting started again. I will keep from you, it is one thing a person thinks about - where to start from? In the beginning I was even in panic. But then things started to get in order. And so 12 years passed ...

I think that what started my love for painting was a notebook and a pencil. I remember that when I was young at school I was drawing various small things in the fields of my notebooks. And to this day I still keep some of my books. There you can still see my miniature drawings.

Keep in mind that if I was working in Latvia my pictures might have been different. Many things are influenced by the daily life of people. People say that my paintings are complex, with lots of movement and specific colors. And I named my present exhibition "Roots", because some things have a connection with my roots. I say to all “People! See what we are living through right now. This is one big mess!” I am talking about the stress and tension of everyday life. Everyone rushes permanently somewhere. Many things from our daily lives, however are intertwined. This can also be seen in the relationships between people. How this whole system is rotating. It is always in motion. Nothing is the same, everything changes. The color changes, the matter and the nature of things. I think all this is reflected in my paintings.

Every day so many things are happening in Athens and in Greece as a whole! Too bad we do not have time to see all the exhibitions that are organized. I dare say that in Greek art there are many valuable things.

Tags: Catherine Lemodeti roots artist Athens street stories
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