Cyprus Mail

Unique project seeks local heroine

Artist Mary Chojnowski

By Bejay Browne

A PAPHOS-based artist is appealing to the public to come forward and share stories of extraordinary local women who have made a contribution to the community in some way.

The women will be celebrated in a unique mosaic workshop project.

Artist Mary Chojnowski, 40, came up with idea, as she says she wants to redress the balance between the sexes.

“There are some fantastic statues dotted around Paphos, mostly in the parks and I find these really interesting. But these are mostly male figures and there is a need to celebrate the women who are local heroes,” she said.

The artist, who speaks both Greek and English, says she needs help from all members of the local community, individuals, groups, schools and clubs.

“I am now trying to gather really interesting stories, especially modern examples of inspiring women. With 2017 approaching, (when Paphos will be the European capital of culture), I felt this idea would really bring out some inspiring stories about local people. I don’t want to dictate the choice of the female subjects; I want the community to tell me,” she said.

The mother-of-two, who moved with her family to Paphos from London five years ago, says that the inspirational female subjects could be historical figures or those from the present day.

“Any women who people believe should be remembered or are role models can be included. This could be mothers, teachers, creative women, business women, athletes, lawmakers and so on.”

The artist works a good deal with children and says she believes it’s important for them, in particular the girls, to take part in such projects. The youngsters will show enthusiasm for the women which they admire, she says.

“I am hoping that we will learn about many different contemporary women and will include them in the project.”

So far, she is researching well known women from all over Cyprus including, Ismini Liassidou Saul, Refia and Susan Ari and athlete Karolina Pelenditriou.

The project will see a mosaic made of each of the heroines’ faces with their story printed next to them, said Chojnowski.

“I will run workshops for the community and they will make the art. I am excited about creating portraits with mosaic tiles and it’s a great opportunity for people to learn about mosaics, as well as producing something meaningful for Paphos.”

The talented artist is well known locally for her work with community groups and has also produced numerous mosaics for public areas.

The non-profit workshops usually involve children, but Chojnowski says that this project would  also include mums, as well as other Paphos women, all working alongside her.

Chojnowski is inviting other artists to take part.

“The more mosaics, sculptures and paintings that are included in this project the better, as long as the focus stays on women to remember,” she said.

When the project is completed, the work will be put on display for the public and donated to the community, so that it can remain on display indefinitely.

She added that she hopes that schools, particularly Cypriot schools will recognise the potential of the project and join in.

Contact: – Mary Chojnowski   [email protected]    99595385.



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