Selected as a finalist for the mammoth Tropfest Short Film Festival in 2017, The Beekeepers portraits brother and sister Poppy and Georgos of Karavas, Kythera, and their improbable emigration plans...
Two of my grandparents came from the island of Kythera in Greece. At the age of 19, just after finishing high-school in Sydney, I went to Greece to learn Greek and I ended up staying for about a year on Kythera, where I worked with the locals stamping their grapes, white-washing their homes and helping in the fields. I've taken thousands of pictures over the past two decades while there. In the groups of pictures below you can hopefully get an idea of why I love the island so much.
Since first visiting Kythera in 1983 I've met some truely wonderful people there. We've shared great times and some allowed me to photograph them. I'm also writing my recollections of them and
putting them into a book which will probably be called "The Kytherians" (which I hope I will finish one day).
See my collection of "Kytherians" here.
My first exhibition of Kythera photographs took place at the Bondi Pavillion in Sydney in 1997 and was accompanied by an exhibition cataloge of the same name. In it an entire village's population was documented over a 10 year period. Since the book was published in 1997 more than half of those depicted have died - the demography of the island is such that about half of the population there is over 70 and not getting any younger... View the exhibition and book pictures here.
Countries with a mediterranean climate tend to have a long and rainless summer and consequently a dry and often barren landscape. Why parts of Kythera do fill that stereotype, there are dozens of extraordinary places on the island with a microclimate of their own and of course the rainy season brings with it a whole different vista. See some pictures of Kythera's magnificent landscapes here.
Kythera has an interesting mix of architectural styles, from traditional rural architecture through Venetian, neo-classical and English bridges and forts. Many of the old ruins are as impressive as the most aristocratic Venetian residences in Hora. See pictures of them here.
Even if Kythera lacked natural beauty and a perfect mediterranean climate, it would still be well worth the visit just to spend time with the friendly and hospitable people there. Old, smiling faces look out from almost every village corner to greet you. See some of them here.
Of course you'd expect to find donkeys and goats on a Greek island. There are dozens of other less well-known insects, birds and animalsto be found on Kythera. See some of them here.
Both in the summer and winter, wonderful plants and trees can be enjoyed on the relatively green island of Kythera. And the island has not one but two "springs" - when the first rains after summer fall in the still warm months of September and October, flowers explode from the earth, just as they have done in Spring. See more here.
Who can be sure what lies on this holy spot! High above Avlemons, the monastery of St. George was predated by an ancient Minoan peak sanctuary and who knows what else? This magical hilltop has mesmerised thousands for millenia, and if you can't visit it in person, here are a few pictures of it.
There are lots of different adventures to be had on Kythera, but building on this beautiful island can be one of the most testing and enjoyable of all. We started to build in late 2011 - here you can watch our progress.