Cyprus Mail

The fluidity of paint reflects nature and its wonder

Art lovers can still join the journey into Sotiris Ioannou’s interpretation of nature at his solo exhibition at Gallery Kypriaki Gonia until April 18.

The new works were inspired by the concept of nature and man. The blunt and harsh – at times – beauty of nature and the subtle physical strength of the environment have been used by Ioannou to portray his personal impression of how nature reflects human emotions and philosophies. Not only does he use the images of nature’s accidental landscaping in an allegoric manner, he also explores nature’s geometric and organic forms and enhances them by using vibrant base colours to illustrate how nature, at times, reflects human emotions, such as loneliness, division and solitude. He also attempts to illustrate how nature can be a harmonious and positive antidote to perceived personal or wider injustices.

Ioannou, from Dherynia, migrated with his family to England in the late 1950s. During his secondary school years, he was awarded a number of prizes for his art by the local municipal council. After leaving school, he attended The Camberwell School of Art & Crafts in London, where he studied ceramics. He then went on to study at the Camberwell College of Arts. After graduation he set up a pottery studio with other potters in South London, where he created work inspired by pre-classical Cypriot pottery -which continues to influence him.

When he first started out he found that this influence from pre-classical Cypriot and primitive Middle and near East pottery, restricted him from fully expressing himself, so he started experimenting with other mediums, such as Perspex and glass. This shift in mediums only resulted in his realisation that they were also restrictive, due to their solid state. He found that by using solid mediums as his base, it was not always possible to show how colour shapes the environment in the same way that paint does and they did not have the fluidity of paint. He found that his interest in colour and the shape that colour has on the environment, plus the restrictive nature of clay and other solids, pulled him even more towards using paint.

He gradually went away from ceramics as a medium of expression and began exclusively using paint to create his work. During the 1970s and 1980s he had a number of exhibitions in London and the Midlands, where he exhibited both ceramic works and paintings.

During the late 1980s he gradually stopped showing his work in public exhibitions and only worked on private commissions due to his increasing commitments to teaching art and the growth of his interior design business. In the mid 2000s he decided to come back to Cyprus and since his return he has opened a private school, where he paints and teaches art.

Solo Painting Exhibition
Solo exhibition by Sotiris Ioannou. Until April 18. Gallery Kypriaki Gonia, 45 Stadiou Street, Larnaca. Monday-Saturday: 10am-1pm & 4.30pm-8pm. Sunday:11am-2pm & 4pm-7pm. Tel: 24-621109

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