Christmas is over. Personally, I’m rather looking forward to January: we are due a little downtime a spot of relaxation after the recent festivities. And what better place to catch some much-needed zen than the warmth and quiet of an art gallery? So take yourself off to one of these three exhibitions this week, enjoy some me-time and wallow in a little artistic escapism – go on, you deserve it…
First port of call: the AG Leventis Art Gallery. There’s usually some sort of spectacular temporary exhibition, and even if there’s not, the permanent art is well worth your time. This month, we’ve got two ongoing showcases: a collective installation from students of Fine and Applied Art, and a collection of pieces from museums and galleries all over the world. The former is really part of the latter: Aphrodite consisting of various works which fall under the auspices of The Venus Paradox, itself part of the Pafos2017 events. Billed as “an ode to Cyprus’ absolute – and enigmatic – goddess through a series of events in various fields, including literature, dance, theatre and contemporary Cypriot artistic creation”, Paradox also sees pieces from 17 leading museums and private collections in Europe and America appearing in the gallery. And, as an accompaniment to these renowned artworks, Aphrodite has challenged local undergraduate and postgraduate students of Graphic Design, Interior Design and Fashion Design and Image to “deconstruct an already preconceived story and to reconstruct a contemporary myth for Aphrodite of the 21st century”. The combined result? An incredible installation in which contemporary sculpture, posters, photography, painting and collage blend with more renowned pieces in a space just made for quiet exploration!
Known for diversity in entertainment, the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation is another art stop in the capital. Lectures, seminars, concerts and screenings go hand-in-hand with one of the finest exhibition spaces in the city and in the coming week it’s Temple-Boy that’s claiming the spotlight. A mixed-media project, it began (back at the start of the month) with a performance, but there’s still time to catch the accompanying artwork, which sees “an exhibitory installation that endeavours to launch a process of consumption, offer transformation and safekeeping of the historical heritage by way of a collective and individual effort to recompose and create.” Drawing on the archaeological collection of George and Nefeli Giabra Pierides in order to bring the human body forward as a basic material of creation, the artist PASHIAS has drawn inspiration from a limestone statuette of temple servants – a par excellence Cypriot form of sculpture dated to the 5th to the mid-4th century B.C – and the resulting works are being displayed at the foundation until January 15. Admission is free, so if you’ve had a tiring time dragging the kids round the Ledra shops, you can take the whole family along for a spot of enforced quiet!
Starting this week, Gallery Morfi in Limassol is featuring a number of local talents. While the upper floor sees “a group exhibition of paintings and sculptures from Cypriot and Greek artists”, it’s the main area which is playing host to one of the island’s most acclaimed exports: Constantinos Yiannikouris. Living and working in France, the artist is known not only for his paintings, but also his work in the fields of mosaic and frescos, and his pieces can be found in various public and private spaces around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in Paris and the Fonds Regional D’art Contemporain, as well as in collections in Japan, Russia, England, America, Australia, Greece, Netherlands, Germany and Cyprus. At the Morfi, however, this current solo exhibition promises an extravaganza of “buoyant and lyrical canvases bouncing with glory” from an artist whose style has been described as “tension deliciously counterbalanced by a relaxed, floating feeling; a dazzling effect as if butterflies have been freed.” Words which should inspire anyone to abandon the dreary winter weather and head into the tranquil embrace of a rich artistic haven – wherever it may be!
Aphrodite and The Venus Paradox
At the AG Leventis Gallery until January 15. For opening hours and more information call 22 668838 or visit www.leventisgallery.org
At the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation until January 15. For opening hours and more information call 22 128157 or visit www.boccf.org
Constantinos Yiannikouris’ solo exhibition
Gallery Morfi, Limassol runs until January 31. For opening hours and more information, call 25 378733 or visit www.morfi.org