My own Constantinople

29 Sep

The mystic East, the land of legends,Theodora, the Byzantines, the seat of Holy Roman Empire, Sulieman the Magnificent, Saint Sophia the heart of eastern Orthodoxy. I am inescapably drawn to all things related to the Golden Horn where Western Europe and Orient meet.

I was raised in the Greek Orthodox faith, the most distant memories as a child are those of dark incense laden rituals spoken in ancient Greek, they made quite an impression on a child’s mind. My grandmothers absolute adherence to the faith are the basis of my continuing fascination. My Yaiya ( Greek for grandmother) kept her home shrine Icons lit with an oil lamp that she would relight once a year with the flame she very carefully carried home from Easter services, it was essential that that flame was not extinguished before her relighting ritual. I remember well she would burn incense to make sure her prayers were carried skyward. Ask any Greek, the influence our Yaiya’s exerted over us as children, its something you never forget, ever.

Byzantine Icons and a few others

Although my adult religious practices are less than devout, I still carry the memories of my yaiya’s beliefs and practices. In my own way I have carried on the traditions. Over the years I’ve collected pieces that reinforce my memories and the beliefs I experienced as a child. The atmosphere of my yaiya’s house.

I didn’t exclude the Turkish influence,, the Incense burner is Greek.

My candelie is electric not oil

I was lucky to find a huge Saracenic latern.

A few wooden Mexican saints.

A plaster carnival prize from the 1920’s stares into her incense burner.

I have a number of Eastern dresser scarves and piano shawls.

I love it dark..and slightly scary, like religion.

Gold leaf is an essential

A salvaged kneeling rail. A gothic touch.

These embroideries were in every Greek home a few generations ago. A happy greeting for all occasions .


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