Barbara Daling, a german painter living in Crete
Barbara Daling comes from Germany . She has been living 7 years in Crete , the first 2 ½ years in Chania, 2 years in Heraklion and the rest in Kitharida village south of Heraklion.
The first thing someone will notice in Barbara is that she has a great sense of humour and she likes to laugh a lot. It's a surprise to hear that this dark-haired, dark-eyed woman was born and raised in Germany . She looks Mediterranean and her temperament is Mediterranean too.
As Barbara says, this was a strong reason that made her move to the south of Europe . Her temperament was "too much" for Germany and she felt like she didn't fit there. After visiting a lot of countries in the south of Europe and elsewhere in the world, she decided that Crete was the best place for her.
What keeps her in Crete ? These are her own words:
"I like the climate here. It is warm and sunny, nothing like the cold climate in Germany .
I also like to dance a lot and here in Crete I have the opportunity to do that very often together with Cretan people in local celebrations and festivities. I can dance all traditional dances of Crete and other areas of Greece too.
I made the choice to live in a village in Crete , so my life is simple and inexpensive. My friends live mostly in the same area and it is easy to meet them. I don't need to travel long distances anymore as I used to do in Germany.
Here in Crete I have a small house with a small "avli" (yard) and every day for me is like vacation, even when I have to work. I love it, it is so nice. I have my cat, I can hear the birds singing and nature is all around my house.
I also like the old people of Crete very much and I think they like me too because I can dance the way they used to when they were younger.
I am not saying that Crete is perfect. For some things, like working or dealing with the state services, Germany is probably better. Here I can have a simpler way of life and I try to take things as they come. I try to accept the situation with its drawbacks and benefits and I don't feel bad for things I cannot change".
Barbara Daling uses a lot of symbols in her paintings. As she says:
"If you go back in time the same basic symbols have been used in art in different cultures of the world. These symbols were eventually modified and adjusted to the local characteristics of each different culture but the roots are the same.
The Minoan art and symbols have always attracted me a lot. They are like a magnet to me and this is obvious in my "Minoan Impressions" series of paintings.
Today my new work is called "Pelasgic Cosmogony" and the symbols used in it come from a time period earlier than the Minoan one.
I try to keep my painting simple. This is not easy to achieve. It is a highly intellectual procedure and I find it a lot more difficult to keep my painting simple and remove details instead of adding more. Energy is also important and obvious in this new series of paintings. Painting is a spiritual procedure for me. I learn a lot from my painting because it is like a walk "inside" myself.
I don't like to talk about my paintings. I prefer to let the art critics talk about it. I have heard some very interesting interpretations of my paintings from art critics or even psychologists and I think that what people will see in a painting has to do with their need to see certain things".