The photography exhibition ‘Ethiopia, Spiritual Imprints’ by 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 exhibition is comprised of 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 its signs are ubiquitous.
The photographer explored the country’s religious traditions 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 under 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 of Gondar, Bahir Dar, Adwa, Dire Dawa, Harar, Butajira and Addis Ababa, where there are as many Muslims now as Christians, while 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 in Ethiopia is part of a larger project on Orthodox ceremonies and rites in deeply religious locations across the world.
The exhibition will be followed by the release of ‘Ethiopian Highlands’ in autumn, published by Assouline, which includes many of the exhibition’s photographs. After Venice, the show will move to Greece, in Athens’ Byzantine Christian Museum, in June 2015.
The exhibition will remain open to the public, free of charge, every day except Tuesday, 10 AM-6 PM, until October 20, 2014.