Eleni Phyla’s If the sea had mountains is a series of 18 drawings
created during a three-week visit of the artist in Crete. Presented in
the exhibition, however, these drawings do not emerge as separate
representations of unique landscapes; on the contrary, they appear
united as the depiction of one landscape, even if in reality the ‘boundaries’
of the drawings do not match. By rearranging the landscapes
in one subjective representation, Phylarefers to the notions of time
and memory displacement, as well as to the process of reminiscence
which refines moments and images in order to hang onto the most
vivid recollection of an amalgam of time and space, defined many
times only by the expressive power of the lived experience.
The project was born while I was in Crete in the summer of 2016. After separately drawing two sea scenes and one mountain landscape, and after tearing off the pages from the sketchbook and put them one next to the other, I realized that the drawings formed a new, united landscape. What was most surprising was that each of these scenes had been from a different location in Crete. I decided to consciously create a bigger series, in the style of ‘panoramic’ mode on a camera, where all the drawings form one landscape, and where each one is either a mountain or a sea view from a different location in Crete. To achieve this, I spent three weeks of travelling around the island creating this online photo journal at www.cretebyphyla.wordpress.com. The title of the project is a translation of the title of a song performed by Psarandonis (Cretan musician). It has been suggested to me that this project resembles in certain ways to a children’s card game called ‘myriorama’.