As the birthplace of Aphrodite it seems only fitting that the island plays host to cultural events based on her story, and as of Thursday the Leventis Gallery in Nicosia will join in the tribute with an exhibition entitled The Venus Paradox.
The exhibition, which is said to be an ode to Cyprus’ absolute and enigmatic goddess, will focus on Aphrodite as a mother, woman, mistress and seductress through the art of the great masters from the Renaissance to the Baroque and from Realism to Impressionism and beyond.
In this exhibition the goddess of love, who emerged from the foam of the sea on the coast of Paphos, brings us face to face with the most iconic mythological figure associated with our island. The stereotypical image of the goddess is something that the exhibition will try to get away from, as it will show how the wider Western tradition depicts the goddess in art. The female figure will not only be seen in her different roles, but also how she has changed throughout the years as times changed, as art changed and as our outlook on mythology changed.
Not just concentrating on Aphrodite as the goddess of love, the exhibition shows how the image is often controversial, always seductive and never as clear-cut as the tradition that surrounds Aphrodite makes it out to be.
In the framework of the exhibition, which will remain open until January 15, a number of other events will take place.
The first is an arts workshop for adults under the name Exploring the Many Faces of Venus from October 4.
The pencil and dip pens workshop, led by artist and educator Alexis Michaelides, will run for four weeks and take place every Wednesday from October 4-25 at the gallery.
Participants will take a special tour of the exhibition and spend time studying the pieces on show. After exploring the techniques and styles of each artist and the changed faces on canvas, all those involved will then create their own portrait.
To participate in this workshop, send an email to [email protected] or call 22-668838.
The gallery will also become a stage from October 5-7 when the theatrical event Venus: Amorous and Savage will take place.
Directed by Andreas Araouzos, the ground floor of the gallery will welcome Alexia Paraskeva and Irodotos Miltiadou to present a literacy and poetic tribute to the goddess, to music provided by Evthivoulos Theoharous on the piano.
The last event that will take a closer look at the goddess focuses on children and providing them with an educational and fun morning at the gallery.
On October 7, November 4 and December 2, the gallery will run a creative educational programme for children under the name The Myths of Venus. During these Saturday mornings, children aged 6-10 will be able to explore the exhibition and then be inspired to create Cupid wings during an arts and crafts workshop.
The Venus Paradox
Temporary exhibition. Opens September 28 at 7pm until January 15. A.G. Leventis Gallery, Nicosia. Every day except Tuesday: 10am-5pm, and Wednesdays: 10am-10pm. € 7. Tel: 22-668838
Exploring the Many Faces of Venus
Thematic art workshop for adults by Alexis Michaelides. October 4-25. Leventis Gallery, Nicosia. 6.30pm-8.30pm. € 90. Tel: 22-668838
Venus Amorous and Savage
Performance by Alexia Paraskeva and Irothoto Miltiadous. October 5-7. Leventis Gallery, Nicosia. 8.30pm. € 10. In English and Greek. Tel: 22-668838
The Myths of Venus
A creative educational programme for kids, touring the temporary exhibition. October 7 November 4 and December 2. Leventis Gallery, Nicosia. 10.30am-12pm. € 10. Tel: 22-668838