With names such as Aristotle and Plato, Euclid, Thales and Pythagoras, Greece can claim a magnificent heritage with respect to the field of geometry. The study and development of geometry early in Greek history has allowed the application of the basic geometric shapes and principles to become a foundation of their architecture. The photographs in this collection investigate this cultural heritage of Greek geometry by exploring the shapes revealed in the architecture of the islands of Sifnos and Paros in the Greek Cyclades.
Cycladic architecture is known for its simplicity and cleanliness of form. Its basic building block is the familiar white stucco cube, from which larger and more elaborate structures grow. Attached external stairways and half-walls that section off courtyards, gardens and pathways can also be seen, and on more complicated structures other features such as vaults, towers and domes may be added. However, characteristically, the completed buildings are minimal in design and exist in harmony with the surrounding environment, whether it be man-made or natural.
While the architectural structures are inherently geometric forms, it is the play of light on them that adds another dimension, especially when different structures are viewed superimposed together as a new construct. As time passes and the sun's rays illuminate the buildings from different angles, numerous shapes are revealed that were not evident in the original design. Rectangles can become triangles, surfaces appearing flat slowly take on a depth not previously discernible. Upon contemplation one wonders, are these newly created shapes revealed by chance or were they factored into the design by the builders, builders who had the benefit of many centuries of cultural knowledge and expertise in the field of geometry? Regardless, these structures and their sun-lit revelations can be thought of as a form of Cultural Geometry.
This series of photographs was taken in 2013.
Images from the series (click to view): Construct #1
, Construct #2
, Construct #6
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