Mark Wilman is passionate about the wild landscapes of Greece’s Cycladic islands, from their sheer cliffs to their inky underwater ravines. After four years of exploring little-known parts of several of these Aegean islands, the London-born photographer is ready to showcase the efforts of his labors in the exhibition “Discovering the Beauty of the Cyclades” at the Milan Aquarium from May 10 to June 5 as part of a photography festival taking place in the Italian city.
Wilman’s collection is an ode to the natural attractions of Ios, Sikinos, Folegandros, Kimolos, Milos, Serifos and the islet of Polyaigos. It also illustrates his love of the Cyclades, which he first visited as a boy in 1974, a bond that deepened as he explored the islands, freediving, rock climbing and trekking.
“Wearing a camera pack loaded with equipment, he’d climb vertical rock faces with little more to grip onto than thorny bushes sharp like blades for meters at a time,” the artist’s website explains. “Sea and land, particularly their interaction, are dominant elements of this work.”
The photography project has been submitted to UNESCO to encourage the protection of the archipelago for future generations, according to Wilman’s website. The photographer also gives special thanks to the late Angelos Delivorias, the former director of Athens’ Benaki Museum and a leading archaeologist who became a close friend, providing explanations about antiquity that were a “great help” during his exploration of the Cyclades. He has also dedicated the Milan show to him.
Among the most interesting photographs in the collection that will be shown in the northern Italian city is one of the mausoleum of Episkopi on Sikinos, where archaeologists discovered the unplundered grave of a noblewoman.