Venice, Italy –The photographic exhibition ‘Ethiopia, Spiritual Imprints‘ by the Greek artist Lizy Manola will open on August 30, 2014 at 6 PM at the Officina dell’Arte Spirituale on Venice’s San Giorgio Maggiore island. It will run through October 20.
The show comprises seventy photos of places, people and things considered holy, which were shot by the photographer on her frequent trips to Ethiopia. The East African country is imbued with religion and orthodoxy, and Manola sought to focus on the key elements of its traditions.
For centuries, religious sentiment in Ethiopia has been strongly rooted in the country’s culture and signs of it are ubiquitous. The photographer explored both religious traditions in the country themselves as well as the daily life of its inhabitants, as the two are inextricably linked. Her photos show stone churches in the Lalibela region – now listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites – as well as churches dug into rock in the Tigray region, the evocative atmosphere of the monasteries and monks of Lake Tana and the cities Gondar, Bahir Dar, Adwa, Dire Dawa, Harar, Butajira and Addis Abeba, where there are now as many Muslims as Christians and churches and mosques are often built alongside one another.
Scenes of religious festivities, processions, vigils and prayer are also immortalized in her shots. Manola has said that ”my images seek to safeguard and preserve the people’s sense of holiness….their faith, their infinite respect for the sacred, their kind souls.”
Her work on Ethiopia is part of a larger project she has been working on on Orthodox ceremonies and rites in deeply religious locations throughout the world. The show will be followed by the release in the autumn of ‘Ethiopian Highlands‘, published by Assouline, which includes many of the photographs in the exhibition. After Venice the show will move to Athens’ Byzantine Christian Museum in June 2015.
The exhibition will remain open to the public, with no ticket fee, until October 20, 2014, every day except for Tuesday, 10 AM-6 PM.