“Ryades” is a cycle of sculptures worked out artistically on opal. They are 15 figures, which dance with the rhythm of Elytis poetry.
One day, walking around the island of Paros, searching for latypes of Lychnitis (the leftovers of the fabulous Parian marble, which has been expired since centuries) I came across with pieces of opal. Opal, the semiprecious stone with the charming texture and its milky and altering iridisms is not considered as a proper element for sculpture. The artist in sculpture, usually, seeks for an ‘obedient’ and transformable element, in order to work on it and materialize the image he has in mind. Opal is not like that or like lychnitis. On the contrary it is a tough and moody element.
Concerning the latypes of Parian marble it is given to you the shape and the impression that each particular piece is a leftover from the “vertebra of some Zeus”. It is also given to you the color which centuries have put on its surface, this “old rust”. The dialogue with lychnitis is respectable and mild in the process of revealing its own face, in a way that the original shape and color of each piece is respected.
On the contrary, the dialogue with Opal is ‘merciless’. Opal uses its toughness in order to impose on you the demanding respect. In every violation of this agreement the result is a broken chisel. Opal becomes more negotiative and more condescending only across its ‘nerves’, there, where the sun and the salt of the time have taught him humility. Onto these lines we have discovered a way of mutual communication.
There the solid as crystal and shining surface looks like melting and revealing light and dancing figures.
The names of Ryades sculptures borrowed by the poetry of Elytis, simply, refer to the see of their very being.