The Silver Belt

The Silver Belt

Charis Mega
Illustrated by: Maria Bacha
Athens 2019, 64 p.
ISBN 978-960-244-208-1
€ 18,00

 

The Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation has published the children's book Η ασημένια ζώνη [The Silver Belt] by Charis Mega, illustrated by Maria Bacha, related to the art of silversmithing and the Silversmithing Museum in Ioannina.

How then is the art of silverwork intertwined with the city of Ioannina? How did the silversmiths of the city become famous all over the world? And finally, how did this art take root in the daily life of the city's inhabitants influencing their social and economic status? The author, a music educator and ethnomusicologist, creates a vivid world of fairy tales with motifs and elements of well-known popular myths. Thus, we travel in time and find out the story of the sole silversmith in the walled city of ancient Ellopia, which is the area of Ioannina; the story of the wealthy stranger who arrives from the North to place an order for silverware with the famous silversmith; the story of the poor people who live around the lake, who in return for helping the silversmith ask to learn from him the art of his craft;  the story of the wise old man who lives on the small island on the lake and, consulting his books, manages to "cure" the silversmith of his greed.

Painter-illustrator Maria Bacha depicts this "fairy tale" with watercolours. She apprehends the deeper meaning of the narrative with sensitivity and she creates an artistic universe with both "fairy tale" features and real ones such as the landscape or the silver artefacts; in this her visual material is directly related to the exhibits in the Silversmithing Museum.