THANATOS: Death personified exhibition opens in Sydney with works by Alexakis, Dramitinos, Michelakakis


Photographers Effy Alexakis and Yannis Dramitinos join with painter George Michelakakis to individually provide their personal introspective, interpretive visual offerings on the theme of death in an exhibition at The Shop Gallery in Glebe, Sydney.

Titled Thanatos: Death Personified, the exhibition will run from tomorrow 26 October through to 1 November, 12 noon to 6pm daily. Opening drinks, Saturday 28 October,


A special ‘in conversation’ event will take place on Sunday 29 October featuring Professor Vrasidas Karalis with writer George Alexander discussing their recent experiences of death; author and lawyer Effie Carr will mediate the session which will run between 4-6pm.

George Michelakakis Ephemeral scaled
George Michelakakis

Alexakis’ work embraces a juxtapositioning of ancient Greek, Greek Orthodox and ancient Egyptian ritual, ceremony and human emotions, empathy and individual spirituality. Dramitinos dwells upon the physical and personally spiritual through his wonderings amongst the generations of gravestones in Sydney’s Waverley Cemetery, where the celebrated and uncelebrated in life lie indistinguishable from below, but recognisably different from above through their monuments of memory; this photographer utilises the silences between the tombstones, their forms and inscriptions to decipher attitudes to lives lived and death memorialised. Michelakakis evokes the socio-political effects of institutionalised religion upon individuals and society and the face and understanding of death if one considers the ‘death’ (absence/non-existence) of a personified God.

Life is not possible without death. Human kind is mortal. But is it a cycle of birth, death and rebirth? Or does death annihilate life, totally – does it lead to nothingness? Plato and Aristotle theorised about the immortality of the soul, and religious traditions consider that life does exist beyond death. But since the Enlightenment, rationalism has cast God and religion into the abyss of the irrational. Yet, the mystery of a ‘life’ beyond clinical death remains.

The exhibition wrestles with difficult concepts, questions and emotions. Those visiting will certainly be left with much to consider.

1 Alexakis death mask scaled


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