Renowned Cyprus-based artist Glyn Hughes has died aged 83. Hughes died of a heart attack in Limassol hospital on Thursday.
Hughes came to Cyprus in 1956 and first worked at the Junior School from then until to the early ’90s, and taught countless children the wonders of light and colour in art. The children returned the favour – according to Hughes, it was not until he started teaching them that he learned a valuable lesson himself.
He said in an interview last year: “In those days you could buy earth colours and I used them to paint strong abstract shapes, sometimes adding sand. The landscape was very white and the stark contrast of olive trees against the dusty ground led to a particular use of these earth colours.
It was not until I taught children that I discovered full colour”.
Hughes was born in Wales in 1931 and studied art at Bretton Hall, Yorkshire before taking up his teaching post in Nicosia. In 1960 he founded the first gallery in Cyprus, the Apophasis Gallery, with Christoforos Savva and then went on to create Synergy, a combination of a conceptual and environmental art event, held annually until 1974.
From 1975, he held a prolific collaboration with the German director Heinz Uwe Haus both in Cyprus and abroad and with the Cyprus Theatre Organisation. His theatre sets and costume designs have covered a broad spectrum of plays from ancient Greek tragedy to contemporary playwrights and been used in Cyprus, Athens, Thessaloniki, Epidaurus and Edinburgh. Hughes lectured extensively on Cypriot contemporary art, on Berthold Brecht, William Hogarth, German expressionism and other subjects both in Nicosia and Athens, while his work has been on display in solo and group shows from China to Australia.