Cyprus Mail

An inspiring take on the world

By Alix Norman

Anastasia Adamidou is entirely without pretension. She’s highly intelligent, amusing and very attuned to her audience – in this case, me. Perhaps it’s her background in Public Relations – 24 years in the field, as an officer in the PIO – that enables her to connect and put people at their ease, maybe it’s the fact that she’s a sociology graduate with a wonderful grasp of human nature. Whatever the case, her energising directness shines through not just in her character, but also in each of the works in her upcoming exhibition, Photonotes.
Opening tomorrow at the Opus 39 Gallery in Nicosia, Photonotes is Anastasia’s first exhibition; it’s been a long time in the making, and it’s well worth a visit. Each of the 43 images is simplicity itself; an inspiring take on the world seen through the eyes of this amateur photographer. From the stark minimalism of whites and greys in ‘Stairway to the Sky’ to the roiling umbers and ochres of ‘Desert Song’, each image is a testament to her considerable talents.
“This exhibition is the culmination of a life’s dream,” says Anastasia, professing to be a perfectionist who seeks, in all areas of her life, balance. “I wanted to be ready,” she explains with a smile, “sure of the steps I took in creating this exhibition. I’ve always been into photography: as a child I was always the one with a camera, taking pictures of my friends on school excursions. And my other main passion is tech – I’m fascinated by gadgets. So in combining the two, I feel I’ve found the ultimate thrill, the ultimate freedom for unlimited possibilities.”
Unlike standard photography, Anastasia has played around with her images, using her considerable technical expertise to create the starkly memorable images. “My fascination with photo software, ideas and tech, led to the discovery that when you unlock one door, another 50 open too; you add and remove from the photo that you’re working on, sometimes spending hours working on a specific image.”
And this passion has had surprising advantages: “When you give the floor to your skills, developing them and expressing yourself through your talents, it’s a risk-free investment. You’re not just gaining a means of self-expression and providing inspiration,” she muses. “It’s also the personal results that make it so worthwhile. In my case, the unexpected benefit of pursuing my passion for photography was the involvement and engagement of my 11-year-old son: seeing me playing with colours and techniques on the computer intrigued him, and he became involved in the process, helping me choose the titles for each of the photos.”
Each work is named for the title of a Greek song, music being another of Anastasia’s passions: “I always work with music in the background,” she explains. “And this inspired me to choose a theme, matching photos to track titles.” Having tried to avoid the obvious choices, Anastasia has cleverly chosen titles for her works that carry the audience on a journey of understanding.
“Most of the titles have nothing to do with what you see at first glance,” she says, referencing a boldly-hued sunset scene entitled ‘Pull the Trigger’. And her choice of name makes me think – there’s a story there, I can see it developing in my mind’s eye. Or perhaps it’s an allusion to the concentric rings of reds and russets that resemble a bull’s eye. “This is what I’m hoping,” she responds enthusiastically. “That the viewer will think beyond what they actually see.”
With such an all-encompassing theme, Anastasia has been free to indulge her choice of photos for the exhibition, assisted by expert photographer and friend Christos Avraamides: “He’s an excellent photographer, a true professional,” she says gratefully, “his experience and aesthetic sense really helped guide me through the selection process. And I’m proud to share the results,” she adds, humbly, “and very open to any comments – positive or negative; it will just help me do better next time.”
I’d be thrilled to have any of her images gracing my walls, and no doubt her viewers will feel the same way. If I were you, I’d make a point of attending the opening, as I shouldn’t think many of Anastasia’s refreshingly distinctive works will remain unsold for long. Photonotes, I feel, is merely the start for this inspiring new talent.

Exhibition by Anastasia Adamidouat the Opus 39 Gallery on Kimonas St in Nicosia, runs from February 3 – 15, with the official opening by Andreas D. Mavroyiannisat 7.30pm on February 3. Gallery opening hours: Monday 5-8pm, Tuesday-Friday 10.30am-12.30pm. & 5-8pm, Saturday-Sunday 10am-1pm&3-7pm. Tel: 22 424983 or [email protected]

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