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Art depicts what it means to be a Nicosian

Gloria gallery in Nicosia will start off its new season today with a solo exhibition by Loukis Menelaou under the name Beyond the Threshold.

After keeping art-lovers in the loop with a summer exhibition, the gallery is now ready to do what it does best – promote new artists by giving them a platform to showcase their work.

The solo exhibition by the young artist concentrates on the artist’s thoughts and feeling about what it means to be defined as “Nicosian”. It is not only limited to an emotion attached to what it is like to have the title of someone brought up or living in a divided capital, it also explores the virtual boundary beyond the physical borders set on us.

Twenty-year-old Menelaou was born and raised in Nicosia and attended the GC School of Careers. He is currently serving his military service in the National Guard and next September he will begin a course in Architecture at the Bartlett School of Architecture of the University College London.

The artist was given the chance to develop his skills in various artistic areas while taking part in high school activities. Menelaou’s love of art and his talent was apparent when his paintings and photographs were exhibited at the GC School of Careers annual art exhibitions every year between 2013 and 2016. In 2014, he led a team which won first prize in a competition organised by the Cyprus Association of Civil Engineers for the creation of a Green Energy Mural at the school premises. Also in 2015 one of his photographs was chosen, through a competition, to be printed on the invitation of the “Second Sex” photographic exhibition, organised by the human rights movement The Justice Project. At the same time, he was appointed by his school as Director of the Art Club, teaching young school pupils art.

His drive to be involved in the world of architecture led him to take on internships in architectural firms in Nicosia and London.

In his first solo exhibition, Menelaou has taken his experiences, images and memories from the city of Nicosia – in which he is serving his military service in a guard’s post next to Nicosia’s green line -and has gone beyond the threshold.

Nicosia is a city with well-defined boundaries between the north and south, and a city whose walls are clearly marked out. As a physical entity, the capital knowns exactly where it stands, but when it comes to identifying Nicosia as an identity of race, social status and culture things get a little blurred.

Trying to find his way out of the fog, Menelaou has taken it upon himself to define the mental boundaries set by the laws of our society in an attempt to create a more open-minded outlook on the city.

Beyond the Threshold
Solo exhibition by Loukis Menelaou. Opens September 4 at 7.30pm until September 12. Gallery Gloria, 3 Zinonos Sozou Street, Nicosia. Monday-Friday: 10.30pm-12.45pm and 5pm-8pm. Saturday: 10.30pm-12.45pm. Tel: 22-762605

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