Aegean Light – Spirit of Olympia

Nick Melidonis


Aegean Light – Spirit of Olympia

“Everything here speaks now as it did centuries ago, of illumination. Here the light penetrates directly to the soul, opens the door and windows of the heart, makes one naked, exposed, isolated in a metaphysical bliss which makes everything so clear without being known”
~Henry Miller, The Colossus of Maroussi

‘Aegean Light’ is a coffee-table book of emotive images capturing the spirit of the people and landscapes of the Greek Islands in the Aegean. The book is published by Fremantle Arts Centre Press and is distributed in Australia by Penguin.

Award winning photographer, Nick Melidonis, takes us on a remarkable visual journey to explore and celebrate the spirit of the Greek Islands. ‘Aegean Light’ will contain text in both Greek and English with a foreword by renowned photographer Richard Woldendorp. The book has received widespread support including the Greek Embassy and Consulates, the West Australian Olympic Committee and the Hellenic Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The WA Olympic Team was presented with the book by the Premier of Western Australia and the WA Greek Consul.


Beautiful full-color images of splendid sites,
September 6, 2004
Reviewer: Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA)

Aegean Light: The Spirit Of Olympia impressively presents the superb photography of Nick Melidonis which showcases diversity and contrasts of light, artifacts, architecture, landscapes, and seascapes along the Greek Archipelago. Beautiful full-color images of splendid sites, and everything from indolent cats reclining amid rounded architecture to the simmering splendor of a sunset casting the sky afire make Aegean Light the next best thing to traveling to Greece and seeing the land’s majesty with one’s own eyes. A very highly recommended souvenir or giftbook, most especially for personal photography enthusiast browsing and professional photography collections.

Excerpt from Aegean Light



“To know Greece well, would take a lifetime but to fall in love with it takes only an instant.”
~Henry Miller

The first thing you notice about the Greek Archipelago is the purity of the light as it creates a contrast between the pristine white houses and the intense blue of the Aegean. Of the three thousand Greek Islands that crowd the North Eastern part of the Mediterranean probably the best known is the central group called the Cyclades (kik-la-des).

The Cyclades are so named because they form a circle or ‘kiklo’ around the sacred Island of Delos, appropriately home to Apollo, the God of light. Each summer thousands of visitors make the journey to discover traditional rural lifestyles, vibrant town squares and soaring cliff vitas. The small dazzling white beaches are legendary and in late summer the Aegean is ruffled by the cooling Meltemi wind. ‘Island-hopping’ is a way of life for the sun-seeking hordes that often test the meager resources of the smaller islands.

My love affair with the Greek Islands started in the seventies. I was born in Alexandria, Egypt of Greek Parents and migrated to Australia at the age of six. My father came from the island of Lesbos and he often talked about the way of life on the islands where he grew up in Mitilene.

In the Cyclades you can still find solitude away from the central ferry routes. An exploration of the mountain villages will reveal a lifestyle that has endured for many generations. Half opened doorways lead into cosy flowered courtyards as cats dart through the narrow, twisting alleyways. Above all I am lured by the friendly smiles of people who offer you all they have, although many have very little.

‘AEGEAN LIGHT’ is a celebration of the way of life such as my father knew. Fortunately, if we take the time to explore, we can find it still. The Greece which emerges from the images in this book is one we may all come to know, a celebration of the light, the smile and of a people who truly represent the Spirit of Olympia and the ancient games.

Nick Melidonis, December 2003

Book available from Amazon