In his last book, The Rhodes Project, John Comino-James explored his family’s relationship with the Greek island which he first visited more than fifty tears ago.
In this new book, In The Land From Under The Sea, he confronts some of the ways in which present day Rhodes differs from his initial vision of the island. A frequent visitor, he writes, ‘Although I had previously seen the communications masts on Monte Smith and the power station at Soroní, I now saw them fitting into a narrative of modern technical interventions in the landscape; it was not that I had not noticed the window displays and advertisements in Rhodes town before, but now they stood as examples of the reach of international brands and the alluring promise of a somehow better life-style.’ Seen in winter, the closed hotels and shops and the deserted beaches suggest both the island’s dependency on industrialised tourism and the vulnerability of its economy.
Themes revealed in the photographs are further explored in a series of poems informed by both personal observation and a love of the island’s history – from ancient times through the sovereignty of the Knights Hospitaller, the centuries of Ottoman rule, and finally the Italian period up to the present day. Although these photographs were taken in Rhodes between 2014 and 2019 and therefore specific in their location, the particular evokes the general raising wider questions about our culture and the times in which we live.
Born in Somerset, John Comino-James lives near Thame in Oxfordshire. He has published eight previous books of photographs and has exhibited his work widely.
124 pages, 54 colour plates
240mm x 216mm