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Echoes of History

By Maria Gregoriou

IF YOU have not managed to go to the Centre of Visual Arts and Research (CVAR) which recently opened in Nicosia, then starting today two photography exhibitions by Norwegian photographers, Andrea Gjestvang and Hebe Robinson will give you the perfect opportunity to do so.

CVAR in collaboration with the Embassy of Norway, the EEA & Norway Grants, and the Hellenic Centre for Photography will pay tribute to Norwegian photography by presenting the two parallel exhibitions entitled One Day In History by Gjestvang and Echoes by Robinson until December 10.

Gjestvang’s exhibition focuses on youth against the backdrop of the July 2011 killing of 69 young people at a summer camp on the island of Utoya. On the same day, July 22, 2011, a car bomb killed eight people and damaged the executive government quarter in Oslo.

The photographs that were taken one year after the tragedy, aims at illustrating how a teenager’s life evolves when the time for dreaming and for aspiring to greatness is replaced with the fear of being shot, losing a friend or sibling or suffering terrible injuries. The photographs are very real and show teenage faces and bodies clearly scarred, literally and figuratively, by the past.

Robinson, meanwhile, captures the echoes of past lives that are still very present in a small and remote fishing village in Lofoten, northern Norway, where almost 60 years ago, the families living there were offered a lump sum from the government to leave their homes and relocate. At present stone fences and foundations that are still standing, hidden paths and traces of gardens with herbs and flowers are the elements that give a voice to the past. These photographs are caught somewhere between fiction and reality.

Gjestvang’s work has been exhibited in galleries and photo festivals worldwide, such as Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, Galeria Open Mind in Milan, New York Photo Festival and Lumix Festival in Hannover. She has received the Picture of the Year Norway 2012 award, and the prestigious L’Iris d’Or /Sony World Photography Awards Photographer of the Year, 2013. In 2012 she launched her first book also named One Day In History (En dag i historien), filled with the photographs that describe the teenagers’ new everyday existence.
Robinson received a master’s degree in science and worked in Norway and the UK before her interest in photography led her to study at the Bilder Nordic School of Photography from 2009 to 2011. Her projects revolve around concepts that trigger contemplation and wonder. In 2012 she won the first prize for personal work in the Gullsnitt exhibition Gnist, at the Celsius Showcase, in Oslo.

The two exhibitions were presented during the main programme of exhibitions at the annual Athens Photo Festival 2013, which took place at the Technopolis industrial museum in Athens, and at the Municipal Gallery also in Athens. The festival is a premier cultural event in the capital of Greece, and it is the first and longest-running international festival of photography and related media in Greece, and one of the five oldest of its kind in the world.

One Day in History and Echoes
Two parallel photography exhibitions by Andrea Gjestvang and Hebe Robinson. November 14 until December 10. The Centre of Visual Arts & Research, Herman 285, Nicosia. Tuesday – Sunday: 9.30am-4.30pm. Tel: 22-300999

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