As we move into the lazy, hazy summer months (don’t pretend you don’t know what I mean; honestly, does anyone really feel like working when the sea is calling?!) the number of events and happenings slowly tails off. Only the young and hedonistic keep on going to their parties on the beach, mad club nights, and endless bar crawls; the rest of us are happily settling into the season of heat-beating evening life, abandoning our reckless social schedules for something a little more quiet and refined. Which is why now is just the right time to catch up on more cerebral pastimes (read: indoors, air conditioned and peaceful), starting with the host of ongoing art exhibitions you may have missed over the last few months…
Down in Larnaca, Ancient Kition and the Modern World of Larnaka has been running since April 20, and will last right through the length of summer, closing on the last day of August. Giving you plenty of time to find a quiet, non-eventful day to step back in time and take a wander round this rather wonderful exhibition. Presented by the Department of Antiquities in collaboration with the Phivos Stavrides Foundation-Larnaka Archives, and held within the framework of the celebrations for the International Day for Monuments and Sites, this exhibition sees pieces from a number of contemporary artists who have been inspired by the intricate detail in the old engravings of the Larnaca region – in particular the area around ancient Kition – to intervene artistically to produce a modern perspective… A quiet journey from the past to the present through the medium of the island’s art.
Over in Limassol, the ongoing Falcons at Kolossi exhibition echoes much of the previous exhibition. Also under the auspices of the Department of Antiquities and within the framework of the International Day for Monuments and Sites, this exhibition similarly closes on August 31. And again, the theme of the exhibition has its roots in the island’s past… In this retrospective exhibition, artist Lefteris Olympios presents four series of works inspired by the history of Cyprus as recounted in Leontios Machairas’ Chronicle (a medieval work written in the Cypriot dialect, which documents events from the visit of Saint Helena to Cyprus until the times of the Kingdom of Cyprus). Olympios’ pieces comprise the first ever solo exhibition to take place at Kolossi, “marking,” say organisers, “the importance of the work exhibited. Through the visual language of Olympios, the audience is called upon to explore the work of the artist together with the monumental setting of the exhibition…” A first of its kind then, and surely not to be missed!
Meanwhile, in Nicosia, Valentinos Charalambous. Of Clay and Glaze, of Fire, Affection and Love – a lengthy but apt title which sums up the exhibition and its themes in their entirety – will be running all summer long at the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation. The exhibition presents the life and work of Valentinos Charalambous, one of the most distinguished Cypriot ceramists of international acclaim. A teacher and a visual artist adhering to a special art code, Charalambous was born in 1929 in Varosi to a family of traditional throwers, studying in London before working for 30 years in Baghdad. This lifetime of experience has resulted, organisers explain, in the current exhibition, in which “representative works that reflect all the axes around which the artist’s work has evolved in the span of a sixty-year career, from his adolescence to the present day…”
“Each pot has its own personality,” Charalambous reveals. “It should never be judged by the artist’s signature. The identity of the ceramist owes to be revealed through the work itself. During the process of combining various elements for an object to grow into a work of art, the ceramist is just the middle man. He finds himself amongst the clay, the glaze and the furnace, his role being equal to the rest of the elements.”
So, sometime at the height of summer, when you’ve got an afternoon all to yourself with nowhere to be and no one to see, take yourself off for a quiet artistic wander. There’s no rush, no fuss and no hassle… this is the world of quietly ongoing art, and it’s peace personified.
Ancient Kition and the Modern World of Larnaka
At the Visitors’ Centre of the Archaeological Site of Kition, Larnaca until Aug 31. Tel: 24 304115
Falcons at Kolossi
At Kolossi Castle in Limassol until Aug 31. Tel: 22 865888
Valentinos Charalambous. Of clay and glaze…
At the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation, Nicosia until Sep 30. Tel: 22 128157 or email [email protected]