close-sidemenu

Fiona Filipidis makes a pilgrimage among her childhood memories

45 Nanna's 050 DxOFP.tiff

Born in Paris in 1990 to a French-Greek father and an English-Scottish mother, Fiona is a visual artist working in Paris and London. Her practice is born out of collection, research, and empathic response. She looks for the image that happens before the actual taking of the picture – the escape to feeling. Most comfortable when surrounded by either trees or water, she is interested in nature, as well as the private worlds of the everyday. She also enjoys a nice pair of velcro trainers and the colour orange.

About ‘Grandad’:

We’ll meet beyond the shore
We’ll kiss just like before
Happy we’ll be beyond the sea
And never again I’ll go sailing
I know beyond a doubt
My heart will lead me there soon
And we’ll meet, I know we’ll meet beyond the shore
We’ll meet just as before
Happy we’ll be beyond the sea
And never again I’ll go sailing
No more sailing
So long, sailing, sailing, sailing

The need to find out everything about his life – after the initial grief, that’s what hit me when my grandfather Jim died. I needed to rummage through his dozens of boxes of old photographs, through his garden shed, through his house, through his life. I needed to find out the exact dates and exact places he had ever been – within reason. I needed to go back to his roots, back to his homeland, to the Scottish Highlands.

He was in the Royal Air Force so moved around a lot, and lived until the ripe old age of 96. His wife Liz, my Nanna, was still alive when I started this project.
The starting point seemed obvious to me: Southampton, England, the house where he lived with my Nanna for more than 25 years. I knew every nook and cranny of that place. I spent all of my Christmases there. But without him, it had taken on a different dimension. A kind of void could be felt all around. Liz, whose memory was somewhat glitchy, thought he was still alive at the time. She talked about him as though he was sitting next door in the living room, watching football.

But Liz continued to live her life. She went to the hairdresser’s every week. She invited her daughters round for tea. And from time to time they took her out for dinner at the pub. When she set the table, she always set a place for Jim. Despite his absence, he was always there. His coat still hung under the stairs, his cardigan was still draped over the chair, his bed was still perfectly made, his dressing gown, which hadn’t moved, was still on the hook of the bedroom door.

And then I went to Scotland. Strangely enough, the air bases throughout England weren’t what held my attention. I wanted to walk around this stark countryside he called home for a large part of his life, and soak it all up. A pilgrimage of some sort, where I discovered his past, and remembered his life. There is an innate calmness to all of these places. Places to reminisce, places to forget, but most of all, places to bring you peace of mind.

96 Scotland 087.tif

95 Scotland 034.tif

92 Scotland 538 DxOFP.tiff

Fiona Filipidis Grandad 17

76 Scotland 334 DxOFP.tiff

74 Scotland 310 DxOFP.tiff

72 Scotland 277 DxOFP.tiff

73 Scotland 172 DxOFP.tiff

Fiona Filipidis Grandad 11

30 BOOK Southampton 030.tif

53 BOOK Southampton 329 DxOFP.tiff

54 7Nan & J.tif

50 BOOK Southampton 300.tif

08 BOOK Southampton 365 DxOFP.tiff

Fiona Filipidis Grandad 4

Fiona Filipidis Grandad 3

35 BOOK Southampton 413 DxOFP.tiff

www.fiona-filipidis.com

Time to read
4 min
Words by
Staff
Published on
16 July 2018
Filed under
Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Share
Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn Email
close
Online|Paper
About
The aim of a shop is to collect cool stuff.
Ours is to gather the coolest.