Island Life | Hydra
The topography, the light, the aura make the experience of visiting Hydra, transcendental, but so intimate.
Away from the exoticism of Cyclades, Hydra turns Saronic sea waves quiet.
The island’s archaic image along with its naked cliffs awake memories of what have been tasted and desired, those journeys to the sea.
Narrations vary. Gunpowder and lead, pages full of black ink, brushes sank in oil, songs overflowing with nostalgia.
Rock on rock and the beat of the art of Hatzikiriakos-Gkikas, together with Seferi’s poetic Greece, Doxiades and Pikioni’s lines, the white and the light captured on a camera by Cacoyiannis, the cosmic sound of Coehn’s guitar, and young people’s laughter, transform the voices of travelers into a lullaby trying to discover in its hills, slopes and cobblestone streets the mastery and art of the Aegean.
Land of tradition and history; Hydra’s name fills our lips with dew, aura of the sea and the very notion of seamanship.
It is said that the island took its name from the water that have been flowing from its springs, since antiquity. The 18th and 19th century mansions reveal fragments of the island’s history and show Economou, Kountourioti and Miaouli’s and other local captains’ /masters of the Mediterranean sea routes, navy force. However, at the dawn of the 20th century the treasures of the Saronic pelagos, its sponges, were to be found under-sea and not in the hands of the merchants, who due to sponge fishing made the island’s economy grow and gave locals the chance to live days of glory.
Since 1930, intellectuals, artists, European cinematographers and many more turned their eyes on the island causing the reestablishment of Hydra’s forgotten prestige and fame. The island flourished and gained international recognition.
Today, the intense cultural production, the cosmopolitan character of the island, and the granting of the facilities of the Old Slaughterhouse to DESTE foundation, constitute Hydra a pole of attraction for those, who appreciate the island’s architectural and artistic tradition, history and romantic allure. Every summer, since 2009, the old Slaughterhouse is being transformed into a creative space of contemporary dialectic practices between young artists and art theorists from all parts of the world, who draw inspiration from the energy and the spiritual stimulation caused by the island, to create thought provoking installations.
Local and international intelligentsia, writers and musicians, but also those who love the beauties of the island’s imposing landscape and want to swim in turquoise blue waters, to feel the Aegean air in their faces as the boat binds to the bay, to taste the local delicacies, and finally to steal away a bit of the serenity of the land, visit Hydra and flood its picturesque villages, Molo, Kaminia, Vlychos, Mandraki, Episkopi and its coasts, just before the summer solstice, up to the first rain of Autumn.
Culture and art owe much to Hydra. But also Hydra owes to those, who for its sake forgot the busy streets of the metropolis and the bohemian corners of the world and surrendered again and again to its purity and majestic beauty. Henry Miller, Picasso, Jean Negulecco, Zil Dashen depicted the absolute freedom of being liberated from every burden at a place drenched with light and sea. That sense of freedom to walk barefoot and feel the earth burning beneath you, as it sets on fire your whole body and soul.