Olympic Games Athens 2004
The fence consists of a series of forms that resemble fragments of ancient Greek ceramics. The main wing depicts two different horse carriages, as used in the ancient Olympic sport of chariot races.
The two images used for the wing are characteristic of the Black figure (melanomorphon) and Red figure (Erythromorphon) techniques widely used in by Greek ceramicists of the time.
This form is inspired by sea waves, a classic motif in Greek art, throughout the ages. As a sea-faring nation, Greeks have relied on the sea as a means of transportation and commerce. That continuous relationship is often depicted in their art, both as a sign of respect and as a reminder of the ever-longing connection to it.
Originally conceptualised by Democritus (Greek philosopher), the atom became the symbol of the smallest, inseparable building block of the physical world for many centuries. Democritus is considered to be amongst the most famous and influential Physical Philosophers of the Ancient World. The essence of the atom was not discovered and expressed until the 20th century. Later on in the same century, it was discovered that the atom is not the smallest particle that can be found in nature – there are even smaller building blocks.
This fence is a combination of the two logotypes of both the IOC and the characteristic Olive branch of ATHENS 2004. The “Kotinos” as it is called, is the olive-tree branch that Olympic winners were offered for their victorious performances in the Olympic Games.
Similarly, this hurdle utilises the same elements, and the bars are painted in a pattern that combines the colours of the 5 Olympic circles and the subtle tones of blue of the ATHOC logotype. The reverse sides of the forms are covered in the themed graphic elements utilised in the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Image & Identity.
There has been a lot of speculation as to the look that the buildings of the Acropolis had, when they were originally constructed. Although all that we see today is made of bright marble from the mountain of Penteli (in Attica), archaeologists have gathered proof that most decorative elements were originally painted in natural vivid colours. Based on this assumption, the design of the fence is an oversized detail of a flower from the Parthenon (the shrine of Athena, and the central building of the Acropolis), vividly painted to the palette used throughout the Olympic Look.
The type of bridge represented by this fence is hat usually found around mountainous area of Epirus, in North-Western Greece. These wonderful bridges were constructed from the natural stone found in the area and are still in use today. Their sweeping arches blend beautifully in with the wild and varied landscape of the Pindos mountain range. Some are said to be more than 4 centuries old. The technical and building skills have now been lost, mainly due to the advance of technical and industrial practice.
The horse, being of high importance to the ancient Greek civilisation, is often described in Mythology. Many gods and heroes had their favourite horse, many of which were in possession of unnatural powers. The winged horse depicted on the fence belonged to the god Helios (the Sun god), and with their extraordinary capabilities they pulled his chariot over the skies. The most famous of the winged horses in Mythology was the Pegasus.
This fence is inspired from the island villages seen throughout Greece. Their dense architecture and maze-like streets form colourful clusters of neo-classical beauty. The colour palette is usually of non-saturated paints, and pastel tones. Typical of this style of architecture is elements of classical buildings, such as the “Aetoma” (triangular shape over the main building block) and decorative elements like the “Akrokeramo”. These villages can mainly be found in the Dodecanese Island cluster (e.g. in Simi island) and the islands of the Ionian Sea (Corfu, Kefalonia).
Three different jumps comprises of photographic images of traditional domestic wooden doors from all over Greece. The variety is great: there are many different levels of decoration and a range of materials. Characteristic element is the door-knock that is (in the neoclassical tradition) very often a beautifully crafted female hand in brass. Notice the “Aetoma”, the triangular shape above the porch, as seen in classical building and even famous monuments like the Parthenon.
Trade was widespread throughout the ancient world. Greeks issued many different coins that were used in exchange for goods. One of the most common themes for their decoration was horses. Here we present a selection of images, which show the extent to which the horse form was used. All coins are from the classical period.
As noted in fence “Island House” this form is one of the typical architectural elements utilised widely in neo-classical architecture. These clay forms, which come in a variety of size and motifs, usually have a naturalistic design. They are positioned around the edges of tiled roofs, and signify the meeting point with the wall. Their form gives an impression of movement towards the sky. Their name literally means “the edge of the tiles”.
The Greek language has evolved over thousands of years. Although it has been through many stages in its evolution, it is still possible for a native speaker to read and comprehend most of them. Apart from the syntax and grammar, this is due to the fact that many letterforms have remained the same – some you will recognise as they have been included in the Latin alphabet, as well. Others are more obscure and clear only to native speakers, while there is some (like the horse-head and heart shapes seen in the fence) are from older times and are reminiscent of symbolic letterforms widely used in ancient alphabets, such as the Egyptian hieroglyphics.
Theater was a popular art form in ancient Greece. The famous genres of Tragedy and Comedy were developed especially during the Golden Age (6th c. BC) in and around Athens. The venues (theaters) were meticulously designed and constructed out of marble and very many remain in use today, the theatre of Epidaurus in the Peloponese being the most known. The bowl-like shape was devised to assist in both the visual and acoustic enhancement of the experience of the viewers.
A typical element of rural architecture, Greek yards very often are parts of the urban fabric. Whether public or private, squeezed between other buildings or in the midst of a tightly knit maze, islanders make the most out of them. Bright colours, steps, arches, walls and levels, herbs and flowers and trees all make up the beautiful views seen in most island villages. The stone floors and white paint provide the most beautiful of palettes.
Fishing has always been one of the main occupations of the Greeks. Their wooden boats are known to have been trawling the Mediterranean since ancient times. The available materials and the specific sea conditions have assisted in developing a most seaworthy and long lasting hull shape: the “trehandiri”. Whether in rough or calm seas, these boats are reliable, swift and beautiful. They are usually coated in bright prime colours – red, blue, white and green. They are named after their owners, or sometimes after a Saint (for protection) or sometimes after female names. They can be found all over the Greek coasts.
Argo is the name of the mythical boat that Jason used in his effort to retrieve the Golden Fleece. Volos, now an Olympic City, was where he set off from. The boat is depicted in a design typical of the time: both wind and oar powered. Rows of Oarsmen would propel the boat, while the sail would utilise the power of the wind if the direction was convenient. Boats like these are known to have sailed the whole of the Mediterranean Sea, while it is believed that some sailors had dared to cross the Gibraltar straits.
These special structures can be found all over the central Aegean Sea Islands, known as the Cyclades. They are solid, permanent, stone buildings with characteristic patterns and can usually be found spread over the sides of mountains and within crop fields. Their ground level is used for storage of field equipment, while their other levels (they are known to be up to 2 or 3 storeys high) are pigeon houses. You will mostly find them on the Islands of Tinos as well as other islands of the area.
Another typical element of rural and island architecture, these flowers add charm, vivid colour and compliment the sun-ridden white walls of houses. The love of the villagers for the plants is obvious. In many cases one can see whole streets being covered by bougainvilleas.
Greeks have been known to consume wine since ancient times. Present in many ancient texts, and even crucial in certain (such as Aristotle’s “Symposium”), wine is still a favourite drink for modern Greeks. There is also a very long tradition of wine-making, and this fence presents some of the typical elements of an old-style wine making factory.
The mythical space of the maze. Theseus was the first half man-half god to manage to enter the Labyrinth and survive. Filled with mythical and magic connotations, the maze later on appeared in the mythologies of central Europe and can until today be experienced in the maze gardens as found in France and other central European countries.