Nothing Is Lost But You Yourself began as an attempt to salvage a few of my dreams from oblivion and to explore the self when it is most unguarded and naked. As part of the project, I kept a dream journal for about half a year and delved into the strange world open to us when we fall asleep, when time and our normal sense of self collapse and nothing is impossible.
The project began before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and was completed during the first lockdown. As the pandemic spread and affected us all, my dream world became more intense and memorable, as it did for many others. Indeed researchers have reported an upsurge in vivid, anxious and bizarre dreams. In this context, the project became a testament to how the pandemic affected the fabric of our dreams, our deep, instinctive, innermost selves. It was also a time when many of us, confined inside our homes, turned inwards and were faced with our darker inner selves, and a time when reality seemed to compete in surrealness with our dreams.
Dreams have always fascinated me, their fragile and elusive nature – how difficult it is to remember them and express them with words, how visual but ultimately invisible and unknowable they are. How they sometimes act like mirrors, laying bare our innermost fears and desires, the ones we hide even from ourselves, and how at other times they seem to make no sense at all. And then of course there is also the philosophical question – how sure can we be that we are not dreaming at any given moment, since dreams always seem so real that we only know we have been dreaming after we have woken up.
In Nothing Is Lost But You Yourself I combine images with text from my dream journal, in an attempt to create a language that evokes the feeling of dreams. Themes of loss, memory, regret, fear, domesticity, motherhood make their appearance, though nothing is very clear, like nothing is clear in dreams.
“In dreams, nothing is lost. Childhood homes, the dead, lost toys, all appear with a vividness your waking mind could not achieve. Nothing is lost but you yourself, wanderer in a terrain where even the most familiar places aren’t quite themselves and open onto the impossible.” ~ Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide To Getting Lost.
I am a Greek photographic artist, currently based in Ankara, Turkey. After a ten-year career in journalism in Athens and London, writing mainly about international politics, I decided to turn to the world of images. My work begins autobiographically and explores the synergies and tensions between text and image, as well as themes of loss, motherhood, domesticity, nature, the darkness and the light in the everyday, our inner and outer landscapes, the personal and political.