FACES + MASKS
Faces + Masks is a photographic series from Greek artist Nikos Vavdinoudis.
Launched as part of the 2017 Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, Faces + Masks features images of costumes from eight villages in rural Northern Greece, and the obscure but fascinating rituals associated with them.
Faces + Masks now forms part of the Hellenic Museum’s permanent collection as a result of a generous gift from Peter and Mary Mitrakas.
BEHIND THE FACES AND MASKS
NIKOS VAVDINOUDIS INSPIRATION
The practices of these villages, known for their elaborate animalistic costumes, ostensibly date to ancient Greek Dionysian celebrations of resurrection. The rituals are now celebrated as a part of the Christian holiday of Epiphany. The subsummation of ancient or pagan festivals into newer religious ones is a practice adopted by many religions; thereby allowing the dialogue between the past and the present to remain virtually unbroken. The men and women of the villages bring these ancient customs to life through the medium of costume and ritual; wearing masks or covering their faces with ashes in order to drive out evil spirits and ensure a fertile and prosperous year.