By Maria Gregoriou
THE island is alive with Christmas bazaars, plays and treats, but exhibitions should not be ignored.
Gallery Morfi in Limassol is currently showing the latest paintings by Graham Parry, and will be doing so until the end of month, while Argo Gallery in Nicosia will be showcasing a drawing exhibition by Maria Trillidou entitled Communion as of Friday.
Parry spent 16 years living and working in Cyprus. He came when he enrolled as a student on a post graduate course at the Cyprus College of Art. Utterly drawn in by the experience, Parry stayed on as a member of staff and assistant to its principal, well known Cypriot artist Stass Paraskos. He now lives in Devon but still visits the island.
His time spent in Cyprus surely influenced his artistic techniques, as emphasised by art historian and writer Michael Paraskos: “some of Parry’s paintings seem to echo the sculpture wall, known as The Great Wall of Lemba, that surrounds the College’s campus near the town of Paphos. Like the images in Parry’s canvases, the wall is an amalgam of often very different objects, and it is notable that Parry assisted Paraskos during the main phase of the wall’s construction in the 1990s.”
The instant reaction to Parry’s paintings is to compare them to advertisements and iconography as he leans towards exploring his “relationship to the somewhat idealised and generally sexualised version of reality,” the artist explains.
As marketing strategies are designed to sell consumers a fantasy, Parry has often been seduced by campaigns and, at the same time, found his imagination heightened.
In the artist’s own words “it is my hope that this cultural obsession with seduction finds an echo in my own work. Through the employment of photorealist elements, high-key colour and decorative detail, I aim to seduce the viewer and retain their gaze, an initially superficial engagement that I hope gives way to an invitation to explore a more complex narrative that lies underneath.”
Maria Trillidou’s exhibition Communion is a very different kettle of fish.
Trillidou’s new watercolour drawings, on paper, represent a kind of communication beyond words. A number of the drawings combine different animals into one being, or use different animal characteristics to create a somewhat mythical creature.
These very unique drawings “resemble symbolic alchemical images describing forms in the process of transmutation, or like harmonic compositional rhythms focusing on archetypal symbols” says art historian Thalea Stephanidou.
Trilidou explains the artistic process behind them by saying “the familiar forms extend and transform, parts of their bodies are cast away to re-emerge, joined with other elements beginning from and returning to themselves as recreated entities, participants in a wider plexus.”
Solo exhibition by Grahame Parry. Until December 30. Morfi Gallery, 84 Agkyras St, Limassol. Monday-Saturday: 10am-1pm. Tuesday-Friday: 5pm-8pm.Tel: 25-378733. www.morfi.org
Solo exhibition by Maria Trilidou. Opens December 12 at 7pm, until January 10. Argo Gallery, 64E D. Akrita Avenue, Nicosia. Monday-Friday: 10am-1pm and 5pm-8pm. Saturday: 10am-1pm. Tel: 22-754009. www.argogallery.org