EPENDYTIS 24 August 2002

24 August 2002

Maria Devletoglou

All that life has taught me

Maria Demetriades – owner of the Medusa Art Gallery

I grew up in the cul-de-sac of Souidias Street, and spent my childhood summers in Kalamaki.

When I was little, I was afraid I wouldn’t grow up fast enough. My childhood fear was disproved.

My parents, in their own way, threw me in at the deep end and told me to swim.

I decided to become involved in art once I knew that life would have no attraction without magic and new worlds. That was when I was about twelve.

Medusa represents for me twenty-three years spent next to creators, next to visions.

I managed to survive without betraying my dreams, and this I see as my greatest success as a gallery owner.

If I could paint, I’d like to be able to give joy and create ‘journeys of the mind’.

The fact that new galleries have opened is a good thing in terms of numbers.

The current picture projected by the Greek art scene is awkward and manipulated.

I wish that one day Greek artists will be given the love and the opportunities to stand on the international scene. I really believe that the Ministry of Culture must realise how many unused assets it has in its hands.

Art should mean freedom of thought.

I would give everything to own Giacometti’s Standing Woman (1948).

Most artists need to make a living from what they do.

Love is also like art — an ‘opening up’ of the mind and the soul.

The time I spend in Paros affords me the distance required to observe what goes on around me.

My house there is the place where I can grow dreams and tomatoes.

My friends and I are fellow-travellers.

When I switch on the television I feel deeply disappointed.

I watch everything that attracts my interest and opens a window of hope for a better quality of life.

I have had tears in my eyes before the birth of a new day, a new life, a new idea.

I see the 2004 Olympics as a great opportunity to revive our ideals, our city and our culture; I hope it won’t be wasted amidst the chaos of personal interests

I hate the complacency of several noughts in one’s bank accounts.

I cannot think of a more solitary thing than having visions on your own.

The moments when life and my ideals go hand-in-hand are precious.

I am ashamed to be Greek when I think that Greece has turned away people like Kostakis, Vassilis and Elisa Goulandris, Iolas, who had dreams and the will to give.

Nevertheless, I am proud of the fact that Greece never dies.