Tzeli Hadjidimitriou is a fine art photographer, film maker, travel writer and photography teacher from Lesvos, Greece. She is the author of six photography books, including the award-winning “39 Coffee houses and a barber’s shop”, “In Communion with Stone” (Crete University Press) and “Time Fading Into Clouds” (Metaixmio), with work shown in museums and galleries in Greece and abroad. She is also the author of guidebooks to the Greek islands of Kythira and Lesbos and has published many articles about her global travels to South Korea, India, Cambodia, Laos and other destinations in the Greek Press. In her Odoiporikon photography workshops, Hadjidimitriou introduces students of all levels to the “constant journey” of discovering a world flooded with light.
She is currently working as a cinematographer on a series of films, documenting a kind of life which is perhaps about to disappear, under the general title “The silent path”. Lives in a very limited frame (which we do not like to have any longer in our modern world ), but also lives where the whole meaning of life is connected with ‘little’ things and gestures (which can be good, bad, beautiful, ugly, tragic…) – and their dignity. A self-presentation of Greece ‘s vanishing values which are values of all Europeans.
“I am a storyteller. In my art I document a world that is vanishing in front of our eyes due to forces of globalization. I photograph landscapes, interior spaces, architecture and people in the fragile instant before they disappear into the past. Ruins, faded colors, old habits and faces that don’t seem to belong in the modern world fascinate me and I want them to live on in my images. I seek out subjects that feel authentic, things that are colored by the patina of time. Everything becomes more alive and present through light; this is the key to my art.”
Everything becomes more alive and present through light; this is the key to my art. I am a visual storyteller. In my art I document, in my own way, a world that is vanishing in front of our eyes due to forces of globalization. I want to give visual expression to moods and to evoke fading habits and lifestyles. I seek out subjects that feel authentic, things that are coloured by the patina of time.
Current Art Projects
Dancing Nudes: A series of underwater female nudes, taken during the last years in the sea and the baths of Lesvos, Greece. As the light passes through the water and falls on the bodies, it changes their shapes, draws magical designs on the skin and transforms them into mythical creatures that follow alternative rules, unlike those of our human experience on land. (Exhibition and book).
Silent Nights: Nightscapes taken around Eressos, during the last four years, with no use of artificial light of any kind. They “describe” the landscape as nightfall approaches, under the moonlight, or even without light at all, catching the sensitive blue intonations of the dark. (Exhibition and book).
Current Film Projects
The silent path: Ordinary people in ordinary lives as inspiration that can teach us the wisdom, acceptance and patience of a simple life.
Oracle of Orpheus
A documentary film on the search for traces of the poet-god on Lesvos. I visit the only site of an oracle of Orpheus in the world and try to recreate the image of this mythical person who has influenced so much western art over the last 3.500 years.
The lesbian story of Eressos
Since the 1970s, women have been traveling to Eressos, the birthplace of Sappho. In some cases have even bought a property there. The story of this emigration is ignored by the people of the island, foreign travel agencies and the rest of the world. This documentary aims at understanding the role of imaginary in the construction of the concept of home and roots in the island of Lesbos, and specifically of the municipality of Eresos, as a tourist destination for hundreds of lesbians around the world.
Stonemasons-In communion with stone
A documentary film of interviews with the men who used to mine the stones and build the houses and churches in Lesvos. The island is famous for the architecture of the houses and the industrial buildings that were built during the 19th century and even since the ‘60s. The way they work the stones with inscribed decoration is unique. Most of these people had no education or formal training, but were able to build incredible buildings without any plans.
Founder, Wind of Creativity, a NGO dedicated to keeping the memory in Greece alive and establishing a platform for communication with the rest of the world, through light and creativity. (2014)
Authorof six art photography books (1996 to present).
Travel writer. Author of four travel guides and numerous travel articles in magazines and newspapers. (1996 to present).
Stage photographer. She collaborated with many film and photography directors, including Theo Aggelopoulos, G.Panousopoulos, G.Tsemberopoulos, A.Kessisiglou, and T. Boulmetis. (1988-1998).
TV. She worked as a stage photographer, cameraman assistant, in Greek tv series, collaborating with almost all tv channels (Mega, Antenna, ERT) and major Greek producers, studios (ATA) and directors (D.Vernikos, A.Kessisoglou, K. Katsaris,E Ralli, S.Markidi e.t.c.) (1988-1998)
Museums and Galleries
1988-2006 She worked as a fine art photographer in most galleries and museums of Athens (Frysiras Museumof modern Art, Pinakothiki Kouvoutsaki, Aithousa Tehnis Athinon gallery, Zoumboulaki gallery, Medousa Gallery, Horos Tehnis 24 galleri, Astrolavos, National Gallery in Athens, Municipality Gallery of Mytilene, Theofilos Museum of Mytilene, Teriade museum of Mytilene e.t.c)
She also collaborated and photographed work of the major Greek artists such as A. Fassianos, K. Tsoklis, G. Rorris, S. Daskalakis ,E. Iliopoulou, A. Veroucas, E. Frantzola, M. Giannakaki, M. Filopoulou, E. Sakagian, N. Stratakis, Io Aggeli, Theo Papagiannis, e.t.c.)
Hellenic Ministry of Culture
Archaeological Museum of Piraeus
14th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities
KA’ Ephorate of Prehistorical and Classical Antiquities
K’ Ephorate of Prehistorical and Classical Antiquities
Hellenic Ministry of Tourism
Her work has received warm reviews from the Greek Press. She also gave many interviews in major Greek Tv and Radio stations (Mega, ERT, Antenna, NET, ERA, Sky e.t.c.)
“Coming from a back-ground in film studies, Tzeli prefers displaying her pictures as a coherent whole and structures her photo-albums in an almost cinematic way.
“What I would like is to plunge the viewer into an atmosphere-to immerse him in a story”.
“Invariably, the story she chooses to narrate is neither about sensationalism, shock value or the pursuit of novelty for its own sake. Ignoring contemporary trends, Tzeli Hadjidimitriou turns her back on fleeting impressions, finding pleasure in the more enduring aspects of life.”
2013 “In search of Kythera and Antikythera”
A traveller’s guide about the island of Kythera and Antikythera; research, texts and photographs by Tzeli Hadjidimitriou. (English language)
2012 “A girl’s guide to Lesbos”
A traveller’s guide about the island of Lesvos with an LGBT orientation; research, texts and photographs by Tzeli Hadjidimitriou. (English language)
2009 “In Communion With Stone, The Rural Architecture of Lesvos“
Photographic album. Texts: N.Sifounakis, N.Stefanou, X.Hatzilias, Tzeli Hadjidimitriou. Crete University Press
2008 “Unexplored Kythera & Antikythera”
A traveller’s guide about the island of Kythera and Antikythera; research, texts and photographs by Tzeli Hadjidimitriou. Road Editions
2006 “Unexplored Lesvos”
A traveller’s guide about the island of Lesvos; research, texts and photographs by Tzeli Hadjidimitriou. Road Editions
2003 “Time fading into clouds”
Photographic album. Texts: N. Vatopoulos, N. Chronas, Tz. Hadjidimitriou, Metaichmio Editions
Photographic album. Preface to the book were the music of Mariza Coch and the verses of N. Kavvadias. Crete University Press
1998 “Urban Housing of the ’30s; Modern Architecture in Pre-war Athens”
Texts: M. Kardamitsi, N. Meras, P. Nikolaidis, P. Tournikiotis, M. Philippidis, D. Philippidis, Nereus Editions
1997 “39 Coffeee Houses and a Barber’s shop”
Photographic album. Texts: A. Fasianos, F. Frangouli, G Chronas, E. Papataxiarchis, G. Nikolakakis, Th. Paraskevaidis. Crete University Press
1996 “Sacred Water, The Mineral Springs of Lesvos”
Photographic album. Texts: G. Maniotis, G. Doukakis, Tz. Hadjidimitriou
EXHIBITIONS & SHOWS
2016 “Aura from the island of Sappho”, at Space Zero, 798 Art Space, Beijing, China. The well known poet Lan Lan, presented at the opening of the exhibition, her latest collection of poems, “Sappho: A Loose Bouquet”
2015 “Lesvos, the island of hidden harmony” atSismanogleio Megaro, Greek Consulate, Istanbul, Turkey.An exhibition of photos from Lesvos, showing the unique quality of light on the island and the transformation of the landscape through it.
2004 “Time fading into clouds”, at Choros Technis 24 Gallery, Athens
2002 Audio-video show: “A Journey in Kythera” at the Cultural Centre of N. Smyrni Municipality, Athens, in cooperation with the network “Mediterranean S.O.S.”.
2000 In the Natural History Museum of the Petrified Forest of Lesvos with pictures from the book “The Sacred Water ”
1998 Slide presentation of The Sacred Water and of 39 Coffee Houses and a Barber’s Shop at Petra Municipality, Lesvos.
1996 “The colour of Greece”, in the Municipal Gallery of Molyvos, Lesvos: of Byzantine Studies, in Venice.
1995 “Grecia vista dalla finestra ”, in La Plaka cultural centre, Padua, Italy
2010 Audio-video show “Different,different…but same” at Georgiadi mansion, Mytilene,for the excibition “To taxidi”
2010 Fete de l’ olivier a Meknes, Meknes, Morocco
2009 “Dancing nudes” at Aliquando Gallery, Paris, France
2008 mommy art ’08 – the artAZ sessions no 2, mommy, Athens
2008 Audio-video show “Sacred Water” at “the Bath of the Winds” in cooperation with the network “Mediterranean S.O.S.”.
2006 “Once upon a time there was Penelope Delta”, Athens College, Athens
2005 “A Table”, Skoufa Gallery, Athens
2005 “Aquarium”, at Saint Nicolas Bay Hotel, Saint Nicolas, Crete.
2004 “Zoom on Greece” at Sismanogleio Building in Konstantinople
2004 She participates at the Cheap Art Athens exhibitions
2004 “A little blue…”, at Saint Nicolas Bay Hotel, Saint Nicolas, Crete.
2004 Participation in the exhibition of the Academy of Athens, “In Praise of the Olive” and in the subsequent publication.
2003 She joins the girl power team and participates in the events organized in cooperation with the Hellenic Cancer Society and the Municipality of Athens.
2002 Participation in the first Kythera Photographic Encounters
2000 “Water of life”, participation in the celebrations of the European Heritage Days
2000 “2000 Tin Cans ”, in “The Lithographer’s Workshop at Piraeus Street”, Athens
2000 “39 Coffee Houses and a Barber Shop ” based on her book with the participation of several artists, at “Psihari 36″ Gallery, Athens
1999 “Mediterranean, A Source of Life and Civilization”, in cooperation with the network “Mediterranean S.O.S.”. The exhibition has traveled the next years around several Greek towns and Mediterranean countries.
1997 “Piraeus Street, Transformations of an Industrial Landscape”, Athens
1997 “Aegean trajectories in light and time”: Exhibition at Scopelos Photographic Centre, Scopelos
2014 28-30 November Sabanci University, Coch University, Istanbul Turkey, “Semiha Es, 1st Women Photographers International Symposium”.
2013 15-16 February, University of Brighton, Brighton UK, Lesbian Lives Conference, “The Modern Lesbian”.
more information www.odoiporikon.com