Picture from an exhibition

Photographer Andreas Theologitis on Untitled, from his Marylebone exhibition The Journey of the Hellenic Boats

Words: Ellie Costigan

“When I see these abandoned boats, my mind thinks ‘the end’: the end of a trip, the end of a journey, and the end of the Greek empire,” says architect and photographer Andreas Theologitis, ahead of his exhibition at the Hellenic Centre. “Greece is known across the globe for her boats—to see this boat, with its damaged prow, lets us think about the situation in Greece, and the crisis there. It is important to have this in mind.”

The sea has always held a place in Andreas’s heart. “I very much love the sea. I photograph it around the world. It’s like a magnet to me. The colours, the movement—even if you are in the same place, each moment is different.”

While the more traditional images such as this one are not retouched—“I want the viewer to see the reality of the boats, the texture of the wood. You can almost feel the material”—the colours are melancholic. “These are not colours of joy. There is labour there. For me, these photographs represent that.” 

Untitled by Andreas Theologitis

Abstract and realistic
Each photograph focuses on a specific detail of a boat, be it the prow, hull or its reflection in the water. The effect is both abstract and realistic. “This way you can see another view—not the typical scene of the small Mediterranean fishing boats. Each person can build their own image. It is not a particular boat, it is the boat of everyone.”

For Andreas, photography has gone from being a pastime—“I used to make photographs in a dark room, in black and white film”—to a compulsion: “When the crisis came, I wanted to exhibit my work. I like people to critique it, I do not just want my friends to say how nice the images are. It became less of a hobby and more like a type of therapy. Each exhibition is a part of myself. There is something personal in each image.”

The exhibition centres on a series of words: light, shadow, colour, saltiness, rust, detail, reflection, motion, time, navigation, imagination, labour, passion, tradition, art, narration, memory, journey. “If I close my eyes, these words encompass the exhibition.”

The Journey of the Hellenic Boats is at the Hellenic Centre 8th—29th September