4 September 2016
George Sfougaras is doing some voluntary work, painting murals and other decorative arts work in Potamies, a little village in Crete to improve the local environment and for the local village memorial.
"Three years ago, I had the good luck to find two tiny houses in the village of Potamies in Crete. Since then, we have been able to visit and work in what is still a relatively rural and unspoiled setting.
I did some simple murals on an old building that was in need of some brightening up and since then I have completed a couple more during the time of our stay. This year the mayor asked me if I decorate two large urns which will stand by the village memorial, which I was happy to do.
The painting work has also included a shop sign and a street name, and so far has been much appreciated by the local people. I have been asked to do some more, including some work in the local school and social areas, which may have to wait until my next trip. So far this has not been paid work, but a contribution to the community and the rich social life of the village.
As with many small villages, it is really good to see new faces especially folk that make a contribution to the environment, so we have been made to feel very welcome.
Tourism has led to wonderful developments, but a move away from farming and the small villages of the interior. Any small improvements such as these simple murals contribute to the sense of pride in the appearance of the village and have other knock-on effects.
I have continued with my own work whilst here, gather materials and looking at the art forms that different cultures have left behind, from Minoan, Greek, Arab, Byzantine, Turkish and of course Venetian. I have located local suppliers for art materials since the first visit, but have also now been able to get some printing materials. The hope is that at some point other artists can come and contribute in whatever way possible to the decoration and rich culture of this beautiful village, or emulate this elsewhere on Crete.
The photographs shown below are from the last two years’ worth of mural and public painting, but I have also completed several works on canvas and paper which I hope to show here in Crete, when the series is complete."