A PUBLIC art project consisting of six large scale murals painted in the centre of Nicosia was completed on Thursday.
The six paintings on the side of buildings in the capital are from different artists.
The project was initiated and paid for by the Research, Studies and Publications’ Service of the House of Representatives. “We left the themes of the works to the artists,” said Avgi Lilli, research, studies and publications’ officer who was part of the project.
It began with identifying the right locations. “The truth is that it was difficult enough to find the right walls,“ Lilli said. “The sides have got to be blank, that is without windows, and they must be visible in a public area. Most buildings in Nicosia are not particularly high, have many windows and are covered with marble or stone. So we started somewhat conversely, first we defined the region, the centre of Nicosia, and then we found the few walls suitable and for which we got permission from their owners.”
“We wanted to include local artists so basically we asked those Cypriots who have given examples of drawing these kinds of murals (frescoes on big surfaces) and not generally in street art or graffiti on smaller surfaces. So, we are working with Paparazzi, Opsis and Pest (together with the Bane from Switzerland as Colour Nomads). We chose two exceptional artists from Greece, INO and Fikos.
The event was launched last September, with the work intensifying after Christmas. The painting was done in April due to the better weather.
“Exactly one week after they started painting they finished,” said Andreas Georgiou, who runs the parking space next to the mural on Stassikratous. “People like it,” he added.
Maria Constantinou only saw it when it was pointed out to her, but when she did, she was also impressed. “It may be about peace, and about freedom,” she commented.
Another passerby, who didn’t want to be named, had a different view. “I hadn’t noticed it,” he said, “it is plain and doesn’t attract me. It’s there in the corner and there is a tree in front of it.”
If this one, which is in plain view of anyone walking by, has not been noticed by all, how about the one next to the Nicosia municipality, which is not that easy to spot, as it is very high up on top of a house? This one is by two Cypriots and one Swiss artist and depicts a colourful bird of peace.
“On the one hand it’s a good idea that it’s up there,” said pedestrian Marianna Pantelidou. “As it is close to the sky, it really looks like the bird plunging from the sky. But it also draws more attention to the house in front which badly needs fixing. Such art should make everything look nicer.”
The taxi drivers in front of the building agreed. “They should have painted the area around,” one said. They like the theme of the bird which dives towards an olive branch. “The artist wanted to relate it to the emblem of Cyprus,” one said.
With the last one completed on Stasinou on Thursday morning, the organisers will soon put up pictures of all six murals on the website of the House of Representatives. They will also prepare leaflets for distribution; so those who don’t spot them around town will also be able to have a look.