CULTURE

Spiritual, solitary shrines

The small roadside shrines seen all over Greece are often erected in memory of those who die in traffic accidents. But the shrines, called eikonostasia, also mark survival and are offered as thanksgiving to a favorite saint. «Eikonostasia & Landscapes of Crete,» an exhibition of paintings by artist Scotty Mitchell, memorializes these small altars. The show is on display at the Jill Yakas gallery until Thursday. «Lone shrines by the side of a field, under an orange tree, or standing alone on a dusty bend in the road were providing another dimension of man and his relationship to the spiritual world,» Mitchell says. «For a few years it became my quest to search them out and draw them. With their dark depths – an icon, its metal frame glinting, often faded and tattered, a terracotta vessel for burning incense, and perhaps an old bottle of olive oil to light a small lamp with – these eikonostasia had a supernatural power.» Born in Connecticut, the artist lived and worked in Crete for 20 years. Mitchell now lives in Utah, but she is still close to Greece. The landscape works included in her current exhibition were created when she returned to the island last year. Jill Yakas Gallery, 16 Spartis, Kifissia, tel 210.801.2773. Opening hours until Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 to 7 p.m. Other hours by appointment.