Hydroessa is the ancient name of Tinos, a Greek island located in the Aegean Sea famous for its natural, geological environment and its strong theological traditions.

While visiting Tinos, I was in a period of deep grief and mourning, and I felt the urge to depict the otherworldly atmosphere of the island and the impression it made on me.

003 © Anargyros Drolapas

Traveling around the island with only the sea as the limitation to my wanderings, I visited as many of the villages and natural landmarks as I could reach. Starting from the very first day on the island, I felt the strong presence of the metamorphic marble that surrounded me. Metamorphic rocks are created when existing rock types change their form and composition. Marble is an example of a metamorphic rock, and Tinos is covered in marble.

While I was in Tinos, I started noticing optical patterns all around me—on the rocks next to the sea, on the water itself, and in the shape of plants and fabrics. Each of these dissimilar materials reminded me of marble. It was like everything on that island was connected with the metamorphic rock; even some portraits of people I shot had a similar aura.

In Greece, marble is a decorative material that wealthy people use throughout their homes and offices to demonstrate their power. But because Tinos is geologically full of a unique green marble, it is found everywhere on the island—in churches, museums, summer houses, banks, etc. It is also used in tombs and monuments, so all of the cemeteries are full of marble tombstones. Thus, marble is a vital part of both life and death.

010 © Anargyros Drolapas

The ephemeral use of marble as a way of demonstrating wealth and power seems to inevitably lead to death, where marble serves as an eternal weight that will stand on top of a tomb.

This experience on Tinos triggered within me a series of thoughts about human nature and living. My personal catharsis came as the result of a metamorphosis, as I moved from a grieving period to an attitude of positive thinking about what is important in life.

This series of photos is the narration of that experience.

Anargyros Drolapas