By Bejay Browne
RED CIRCLES are appearing all over Paphos as part of a project initiated by a Cypriot painter Marios Anastasiou.
Along with around 150 students from six Paphos schools, Anastasiou is painting the circles as part of the ‘Red Dot Street and Wall Art Paphos’ campaign, which is featured in the town’s open spaces. The aim is to draw attention to specific areas and to invoke thought and contemplation.
Anastasiou, who hopes the project will be credited with a Guinness world record, told the Cyprus Mail: “The project is my idea and many of the places in which we are painting are either dirty or full of rubbish. We are cleaning these areas and then drawing red dots or circles.”
So far, the artist and participating children, aged 10 to 12, have created 1,968 circles. Anastasiou said by the time the project is completed in the summer more than 10,000 will have been painted.
The Red Dot project will encompass an area from the market in Ktima (Paphos old town) down to the castle in the harbour of Kato Paphos.
“We are painting these circles on streets and walls of businesses, public buildings and areas, as well as schools,” he said.
The artist noted that the project also aims to teach children to love the town where they live as well as to encourage an interest in painting. Some of the work is small and is presented as an empty red circle, while others are three dimensional with other colours inside.
The art work is of all different sizes, the largest painted so far is about 2 meters in diameter. A number of circles will also be painted at specific spots along the Paphos to Nicosia highway.
“We will then go on to Nicosia and the Green Line where we will paint circles on the streets, with children of both communities. The relevant authorities have already granted us permission,” he said.
“We want to show that there is no problem between the communities here, especially the children, and that we are united.”
The project got underway one month ago, but has been slowed down by inclement weather.
“We haven’t been able to do much for the past two weeks due to the rain and we have to wait for the areas to dry out, but we will paint some more on Thursday as long as the weather allows us,” Anastasiou said.
Obviously business and home owners have given their permission for the art work to go ahead and the artist says that after the project people may of course return walls to the original colours.
“So far no one has shown an interest in doing this and wish to keep the work in place,” he said.
He added that the project aims to help keep eyesores clean and presentable and to encourage people to walk around the town to see the red circles of art.
He concluded: “I chose red as it symbolises not only danger and risk but also positivity. I love Paphos, it’s my city and I wanted to give something back, which is from me.”