The opening of two exhibitions will welcome art lovers to a feast of art in Limassol and Nicosia today.
The Limassol exhibition, Portraits: Aura of Life and Death, will present the work of 37 artists from the State Gallery collections, the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation and the Pierides Museum, along with archives from prominent private collections, archaeological remains from the Cyprus Museum and the Limassol Archaeological Museum, Byzantine icons from the Archbishop Makarios III Foundation, historical documents from Pattichion Municipal Museum – Historical Archive Limassol (CVAR) and the Phivos Stavrides Archives.
Portraits: Aura of Life and Death, which will be presented at the The Evagoras and Kathleen Lanitis Foundation, is a testimony of the way portraits are perceived within Cypriot culture. By placing local modern and contemporary pieces of art side by side, the exhibition ponders the question of what constitutes a portrait? It tracks the evolution of the local art scene, with a special focus on the traditional idea of portrait-making, but also though mass and pop culture.
The exhibition will be divided into four sections. The first deals with the portrait as a depiction of superior authority, of a divine, military or political power. The second refers to self-portraits and the depiction of peers, whereas the third section presents portraits that depict aspects of daily life and practice. The fourth section examines the concept of the portrait as a construction of a reminiscence, a reminder of mortality and a memory of the person depicted.
The capital will bring us the work of artist Toula Mala under the name Nature, Cans and Superheroes at the Apocalypse gallery as of today at 7.30pm. Mala is an artist who rarely shows her art in exhibitions, but that doesn’t mean that the artistic process ever stops for her. In her absence from the limelight of the artistic world, she has been gearing up to present something that will mark an important development for the artist and for the local art scene in general.
Mala’s last painting and sculpture exhibition was in February 2012. Over the last six years she has been working and experimenting on her own techniques. Now, after a long period of preparation and after 40 years in the art scene, the artist is ready to present a large collection of paintings and sculptures.
This huge collection concentrates on the human form, and makes women the main characters. The actual figures are not where the artist’s main concern lies, she is more interested in the environment in which the figure is placed. A girl beneath the shadow of a large tree, people among large rocks and a girl in the forest are examples of where her figures are portrayed.
The idea of place being more important than the human figures within the work is a new challenge for Mala especially when it comes to her sculptures. The difficulty is found in managing to bring her ideas forward in a three-dimensional manner.
Artworks in Mala’s hands do not follow a particular school of thought, neither do they place much emphasis on form. Her work rather takes shape in order to illustration human emotion, reactions and thoughts.
Mala has had over 20 solo exhibitions in her career. She has been exhibiting since 1985 and her early years leaned more towards painting than sculptures.
Portraits: Aura of Life and Death
Group exhibition. Opens February 23 until March 24. The Evagoras and Kathleen Lanitis Foundation, Limassol. Tuesday-Friday: 9am-1pm and 5pm-8pm, weekends: 2pm-7pm. Tel: 25-342123
Nature, Cans and Superheroes
Solo exhibition by Toula Mala. Opens February 23 at 7.30pm until March 14. Apocalypse Gallery, 30 Chytron Street, Nicosia. Monday- Friday: 10.30am-1pm and 5pm-8pm. Saturday: 10.30am-1pm. Tel: 22-766655