Cyprus Mail

Exhibition challenges the sense of belonging

camouflage (2)

Larnaca’s The O Gallery has kickstarted its autumn season with an exhibition titled Camouflage by Despina Petridou. The artist’s first solo exhibition presents artworks created during the past year, since her return to Cyprus after her studies at Edinburgh College of Art. Petridou’s art is based on the exploration of the ‘history of the self’, cultural identity and the sense of belonging through the spectrum of materiality.

Open until the end of September, the work in the exhibition is informed by site-specific personal memories, experiences and narratives, reflecting Despina’s background as a woman growing up in Cyprus and more specifically in the Famagusta region. The politically contested nature of the island’s land and sea, especially in Famagusta, has placed these two elements at the foundation of the work presented.

Considering the materiality, formation and structures found within natural and urban landscapes, these artworks aim to create tangible embodiments of memories based on the specificities of surfaces, textures and materials, characterised by their conflicting yet harmonious coexistence.

This body of work presents a multi-layered visual narrative, created by juxtaposing or integrating synthetic and organic materials, such as building gypsum, silicone, soil and rust. The processes used by the artist explore, extend and embrace the qualities of these materials and create contrasting surfaces that blur the lines between painting and sculpture. The fluid patterns that are dominant in the work reflect the fragility and unpredictability of the natural environment in association with people’s need for structure and purpose, present in the geometry and linear lines that contain and ‘tame’ these patterns within the work.

The title of the exhibition, Camouflage, derives from the combination of these patterns and colouration in the work, referring to a phenomenon initially found in nature, posing questions around identity and the sense of belonging, when comparing oneself with their surroundings.



Solo exhibition by Despina Petridou. Until September 30. The O Gallery, Larnaca. Tuesday-Friday: 10am-1pm and 4pm-7pm. Sunday: 3pm-7pm. Tel: 99-659202


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