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Aphrodite, and all she stands for

If ever there was a week dedicated to the Goddess who has made our island famous as the place where love blossoms, it is this week. With an exhibition starting today in Paphos, a lecture in Nicosia tomorrow and another exhibition, again in the capital, on Thursday, the goddess Aphrodite will get even more coverage than she is used to.

The goddess will firstly be honoured in her birthplace as of today by the organisers of the European Capital of Culture Pafos2017 with the exhibition entitled Referring to Aphrodite. As curator of the exhibition Referring to Aphrodite, Associate Professor of the Athens School of Fine Arts Erato Hatzisavva will take an innovative and contemporary multimedia approach to some of the most famous masterpieces of European art that deal with Aphrodite.

Through an interactive representation of the goddess, Hatzisavva will create 3D on-wall works and videos, and 15 graduates of the Athens School of Fine Arts offer their own renderings of Aphrodite of the Homeric works.

As well as showcasing these works, the exhibition will be accompanied by a series of events, including screenings, recitals and discussions.

She will make her second appearance of the week tomorrow in the Wednesday lecture Venus, Venice and Cyprus at the AG Leventis Gallery in Nicosia at 7.30pm.

The lecture, in English, will be dedicated to The Venus Paradox temporary exhibition currently running at the gallery. This month’s speaker will be Professor Peter Humfrey, Emeritus Professor of Art History at St. Andrews University, Scotland. Through his specialisation on Italian Renaissance art, Humfrey will refer to the pursuit of reviving the Roman Empire through the Venetians and to the triumphant symbolism of the capture of Cyprus, the island of birth of the goddess of love, to the Venetians. By referring to the historical events, he will elaborate on art trends of the time and the role of Venus (Aphrodite) in Venetian propaganda as well as the direct connection of Cyprus with the goddess.

Humfrey has had numerous publications on Italian Renaissance art, including monographs on Cima da Coneglianao (1983) and Titian (2007). He has also served on the committees of several major international loan exhibitions, including the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. In 2015 he received the award of Cavaliere dell’ Ordine della Stella della Solidarieta Italiana for services to Italian culture.

As there are limited places for the lecture, reserve your seats by calling 22-668838.

The goddess will remain in the realm of art at the AG Leventis gallery on Thursday with the exhibition simply entitled Aphrodite by students from the Fine and Applied Arts Department of Frederick University.

The group installation – which will be showcased in the Claude Monet room on the second floor – will consist of various works by undergraduate and postgraduate students. The works, which will include sculptures, advertising posters, photographs, paintings, collages and more, will be placed in collective layout where the viewer can investigate and explore while walking around and inside the space. Although the installation works as an entity, each work can also be regarded as an autonomous piece of art which is a part of the narrative about Aphrodite as a mother, as a mortal and as a lover.

Referring to Aphrodite
Exhibition and screenings, recitals and a discussion about Aphrodite. Opens November 7 at 7pm until November 26. Palia Ilektriki, Paphos. 4pm-7pm. Tel: 26-955166

Venus, Venice and Cyprus
Lecture by Professor Peter Humfrey. November 8. Leventis Gallery, Nicosia. 7.30pm. In English. Tel: 22-668838

Exhibition by students of the University’s Department of Fine and Applied Arts of the Frederick University. Opens November 9 at 7pm until January 15. A.G. Leventis Gallery, 5, A.G. Leventis Street, Nicosia. Daily except Tuesday: 10am-5pm, Wednesday: 10am-10pm. Tel: 22-668838

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