Cyprus Mail

Letters needed for art installation in Paphos

A Paphos based artist has issued an open call for old or new handwritten letters to be sent to her which will be used as part of a public art installation. She needs hundreds more to reach her 1,000 or so target.

Miriam McConnon, a visual artist, said that people wishing to participate in the project must send their letters immediately, as she needs to receive them by May 10. The installation will open to the public on May 28, 2017, for one month, and will sit in the foyer of Almyra hotel in Paphos, as part of their celebrations for Pafos2017.

So far, McConnon has collected hundreds from all sorts of people, from all over the world, written in many different languages, but she still requires hundreds more in order to collect enough to create a house as part of ‘The Voice of Ink’ project.

The idea, which sees her team up with another Paphos artist, Marianna Constanti, is titled ‘The voice of ink,’ and her creation, ‘The house of letters,’ is an indoor installation that deals with the concept of immigration and displacement.

McConnon said she will create a ‘classic’ shaped house structure, measuring 3x3x4m using thousands of letters which she collected from immigrants in countries all around the world.

She told the Cyprus Mail: “The installation allows us to contemplate the life of immigrants. Recently, immigration has had such devastating consequences for many. I wanted to express a sense of unification, as opposed to separation and will bring hundreds of immigrant’s stories together under one roof.”

She stressed that many people live away from their homeland for a variety of reasons and separation and communication will be highlighted.

The house will be made entirely from letters and have two layers inside and out, enabling visitors to enter the house and read the letters inside as well.

In addition, the project will highlight the demise of the written word, which has almost been wiped out by technology.

“There is something very personal about holding a letter in your hand which has been touched by others. The letters can be written to anyone about anything, on sad and happy subjects and in any language,” she said.

Original letters are required and will not be returned, so the artists suggests participants take a photo copy as a memento. She has already created a working small scale model of the installation.

Constanti, meanwhile, will create an accompanying mixed media installation which will incorporate a display piece exhibiting various objects related to the process of writing a letter including, wax and ink holders. A photographic composition fixed on a wall will utilize photography, cement based grout, ink, wood and glass, alongside a light installation.

The installations will remain at Almyra hotel for a month, after which it will travel to Ireland to be displayed in a public space there, before possibly being shown at other venues.

Letters can be posted to: Miriam McConnon, 6a Prevezis Street, Paphos 8028. Contact: (m) 99554829 or [email protected]

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