Introduction to
'Beauty of the Female Kind'

A few notes about my work in these galleries
by Mark Wilman

The galleries in 'Beauty of the Female Kind' were the motivation for my work 'Discovering the Beauty of the Cyclades' to begin. Landscapes were not enough, no matter how appealing. I needed the complexity of the female form and her personality in order to find my expression.

We do not see her elegant black dress, she is less protected, more exposed, central in theme, unlike in many of the 'Visitor' galleries which came after. The locations were searched for along these lines, i.e. not panoramic, but rather supportive of her expression. She learned to interact with the surroundings, not so easy to do effectively. I learned to be more knowing of what to look for in advance of situations and began to imagine opportunities in places little known to me, but where I'd experienced particular visual engagement when passing on previous occasions.

The magic was being undisturbed and able to accomplish freely what we were both striving to do as individuals: human expression versus mechanical capture from camera clicking instinct. Each location encouraged discovery, whispered details of its history: an antiquated wall almost entirely hidden under plant growth, branches of a long lived tree rustling their sounds in the light summer wind, a voice of nature.

The Galleries:

Taking Shelter is highly expressive, I believe, because it's able to represent a past dating back to the early beginnings of mankind in the Cyclades. The small empty house in which it is situated was built, possibly centuries ago, sees usage of elements from the surrounding field high on a hill far inside the island's interior. The model's capacity, in expressions and gestures, to express a natural sense of being compliments the simplicity of her surroundings creating an atmosphere far from the modern world of today.

Island Bus Stop wishes to tease. This leafless tree, which lost its capacity to show life many years ago, becomes a prop offering colour contrast and shape uniquely different to the other characteristic elements inside the scene. The striking red of the female figure's robe is emphatically intensified by powerful sun rays.

Portrait of a Lady was the inevitable title of this decidedly expressive gallery.

A Day of Changes embraces September sunshine: golden grass unites with the strong red tone of the woman's garment creating an expression of natural grace .

Field of Gold's attractive setting offers a view towards Amorgos island, north-eastwards 58 km across the deep blue Aegean. The tree of Ios stands alone with Crete far to its south, visible only on rare days, perhaps three or four times per year when the setting sun turns the southern horizon into a wall of dark extending rock 160 km far in the distance. The woman discovers the tree on the edge of the golden field and expresses the beauty of the encounter.

Burnt Terraces saw careful exploration on land charred recently by a three-day fire that devastated much of north-west of Ios, exposing terraces and walls hidden till then under centuries of Cycladic flora. The setting was highly particular with the model suitably covered in a long black veil.

Other Beauty of the Female Kind Galleries:
Corner View, House of Stones, Poor Girl, Small Bay of the Cyclades

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