By Maria Gregoriou
Diachroniki Gallery, the little gallery with a big passion for art in the heart of the capital will showcase paintings, engravings, etchings, sculpture, ceramics and icons by Cypriot and other artists as of Friday.
Although the themes and subject matter of the exhibition vary, a large part of the works refer to how Cyprus was in the past, how it has changed during recent years and many of the pieces on show are tightly bound to the people on the island.
There are a large number of works by a large number of artists to be enjoyed, including the latest works by George Gavriel, Paskalis Anastasi and Alex Khattab.
Gavriel, from Nicosia, started showing signs of a love of art from an early age as a favourite pastime of his was to paint images from his primary school books, and to also sketch portraits of his classmates and friends.
The boy with a talent to paint developed his technique by creating numerous drawings of the people of Cyprus. This talent was further embellished when he went on a scholarship to the famous Fine Arts Academy Surikov in Moscow. He studied under professor Klavdia Alexandrovna Tutivol, who said of Gavriel “his work is original and personal and this in art is a great asset. The road to the top is long and difficult but this young artist steps forward with confidence and careful planning. Before George Gavriel there are great prospects in the world of art”.
He graduated from the academy with a Master of Fine Arts Diploma. He then returned to Cyprus where he is working as an artist and as an art teacher.
Anastasi was born in London to Cypriot parents and grew up in Dherynia. In 1974 he returned to London and in 1983 he studied Art and Graphic Design at the Barnet College and Loughborough College of Art and Design.
He is a painter of the plein-air technique, painting outdoors and attempting to capture that moment when time seems to stand still. It is this focus on nature and the artist’s observation of what is out there, that has contributed to his devotion to spontaneously capturing images which will never be again, but which will forever live on, on canvas.
His influences from the impressionist movement are what make his paintings seem as if they are a snap-shot of an instant in time – a timeless expression in an ever-changing world. The paintings in this collection are without sadness or anguish, they simply invite the viewer into an uplifting and reminiscent atmosphere.
Khattab, from Nawa in Southern Syria, has been living and working in Cyprus since 1992.
He studied Fine Arts at the University of Damascus from 1983 to 1989. During his studies Khattab concentrated on painting in oils with a bold and free use of colour, and distinguished himself in conceiving and completing his works alla prima (wet-on-wet) in minimal time.
He also worked with print making and drawing caricatures. His caricatures were published in Egypt’s most well-known newspapers and magazines.
The artist worked in Syria as an art teacher where he had four solo and numerous group exhibitions. He then went on to have an exhibition in Egypt and ten in Cyprus so far.
Khattab’s works hang in various corporate buildings and private collections across Cyprus, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
Group exhibition of works by Cypriot and other artists. January 22 until February 10. Diachroniki Gallery Ledras, 84 Arsinoes Street, Nicosia. Open daily: 10am-7pm except Sundays. Tel: 22-680145