BB&C Digital Camera SIG Photoshoot
It's All Greek To Me
By Ken Beattie
n mid-August the Camera SIG received an unusual invitation. BB&C member Chris (Xenos) Tomaschuk was volunteering at the Greek Food Festival and displaying her family heirlooms. Included was the opportunity for a tour inside the Greek Orthodox Church of the Saviour, 4648 Elk Lake Drive (next to the Commonwealth Pool). Now I am partial to Greek lamb so when coupled with an exotic photo opportunity, I wanted to agree. Timing was tight but we chose to go on the Sunday of the September long weekend.
Now these people really know how to organize a feast. Huge ovens, great food, desserts, massive tents, cultural exhibits, desserts, a crafts sale and entertainment all drew big crowds for the six days of the festival. Did I mention the desserts??
Our host told us her family history, the origins and precious memories associated with her treasures on display.
Chris explained, “Most of us have “heritage stuff” in our homes. Items kept hidden, items rarely ‘shown off’ to the public. My parents came from the Ionian Island (between Italy and Greece) of Zakinthos. These Islands were never under the Turks but were owned by the Venetians and then the British. So the items may not have a typical "Greek Flavour". The top framed piece contains my Mother's Embroidered roses, a cushion cover circa 1920” she said pointing to the lovely flowered work at the top of the display.
The second frame contained Chris’ Grandmother’s work (Circa 1910). It is part of an embroidered “case” which was hung on the wall to store the newspapers. The embroidered word is Ephimerithas, which means Newspapers in English. The paper was thin, like “cigarette paper”. When guests came, a member of the family would read from it to the assembled group. (Just like reading poetry in the parlours of England)
On either side of the Newspaper case are projects Chris wove when taking a weaving course in Greece: on the left a goat cloth sampler and on the right is a Flokati Rug (a non-knotted wool pile rug).
It was now time for the church tour. The mystical quality of the building extended to the entrance with the tile cut into intricate patterns.
Into the quiet of the sanctuary, we went. Our tour guide told the history of the design and the Greek religion. It was hard to concentrate on the words when such wonderful images surrounded us, waiting to be taken.
Soon hunger and the music calling the dancers took us away to a different world. One that I might tell you about next year.