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Illustrating tradition

By Maria Gregoriou

The solo painting exhibition to be opened on Wednesday by Yiannis Pelekanos, entitled The World of Cyprus, takes us back to a time of simplicity and rich traditional rituals.

The collection’s aim is to show what life was like in Cyprus in the past and try to preserve the emphasis on hard work and family life. As traditional professions and rites, such as physical labour in the fields or weddings during which the bride is dressed and given away during a series of rituals before going to church, are gradually falling out of fashion, Pelekanos painted them so they may stay alive on canvas for generations to come.

Pelekanos’ art is characterised by chromatic colors and a sense of movement. His work takes over small and large canvases and the topics he works with are inspired by the tradition, the customs, the culture and the occupations of farmers.

His source of inspiration for this collection was taken from the rich colours found in Cypriot tradition and folklore. These elements are often enhanced by his own personal experiences and what his memory brings to mind when he reads folklore and history books.

“Some people use words to create literature, some others write verses and create poetry, or notes and create music,” says the artist, explaining why he chooses painting to keep tradition alive. “I paint and write with this instrument the history of my place, the traditions, the customs and beautiful details.

“The pursuits of women at home, like kneading, baking and making pasta. The occupations of the villagers in the fields, like threshing, harvesting and cotton planting. Scenes from Cypriot religious traditions like the swings in Easter, Epiphany Carols, returning home after the Resurrection Service. The creation of a family, as with matchmaking, or marriage and its related feasts “.

The World of Cyprus
Solo painting exhibition by Yiannis Pelekanos. Opens March 11 at 7.30pm until March 23. Gallery Kypriaki Gonia, 45 Stadiou Street, Larnaca. Monday-Saturday: 10am-1pm & 4.30pm-8pm. Sunday:11am-2pm & 4pm-7pm. Tel: 24-621109

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