By Bejay Browne
A PAPHOS-BASED project which aims to share stories of extraordinary local women who have made a contribution to the community in some way is gaining momentum.
Artist Mary Chojnowski, 40, came up with the idea which will see women celebrated in a giant mosaic project.
“I started this project a few months ago and it’s really coming together in exciting ways,” she said, adding that “it’s lovely how it’s drawing together women from all over Paphos; different groups with very different ideas.”
The artist says she still needs help from all members of the local community, groups, schools and clubs. She is well known locally for her work with community groups and has also produced numerous mosaics for public areas.
The aim is to gather interesting stories, especially modern examples of inspiring women. As Paphos will be the European capital of culture in 2017, the artist says her idea will highlight the inspiring stories about local women. The project will see a mosaic made of each of the heroines’ faces with their story printed next to them.
A number of local community councils are also supporting the project – both Kouklia and Kallepeia villages have donated funds to work with children on various ideas.
Artist Angela Winstanley, a family therapist specialising in helping autistic children, will also be involved in Kouklia’s contribution.
“I am hoping other councils in the whole of Paphos District follow their example over time,” she said
Chojnowski said that Lisa Constantinou Briggs, a well known local artist, is also participating and will make mosaic art which incorporates the ideas of her groups of women and girls.
“I visit the Paphos Day Centre on a weekly basis. Together with people suffering from a variety of psychological problems, we are making a mosaic to celebrate the renowned female naive artist Thraki Rossidou Jones. We chose her because she represents a Cypriot woman’s success in art; her pictures are lovely colourful scenes of serene Cyprus.”
Chojnowski added that she finds this artist’s life story interesting and along with all the female heroines, it will be featured as part of the final exhibition.
Other prominent women involved in the project include Leni Photi, an environmental scientist and teacher who Chojnowski says is an inspiration to so many others.
“Leni is a heroine with a great passion for her work, who I think is a great role model for our young girls as she is truly following her passion. “
The artist also plans to work with the Margarita Liasidou Foundation which has been providing care and to adults with disabilities since 1992. It was founded by Ismini Liasidou Saul in memory of her disabled daughter Margarita. Ismini passed away last year, at the age of 92.
“Her story is a wonderful example of a woman’s tenacity, deep instinct to care and determination to build this centre for Paphos. She is a much loved local figure and I’m hoping we might find a generous local sculptor to join us.”
Female artist Miriam McConnon is creating a proposal which involves young people in Paphos schools. A number of other local artists and musicians are all offering support as well.
When completed, the work will be put on display for the public and donated to the community, so that it can remain on permanentdisplay.
Mary Chojnowski is inviting everyone who is interested to take part. Contact her on 99595385 or by email, [email protected] .