Village scenes, local meals, traditional handicrafts and colourful landscapes usually make up the postcards of Cyprus. Yet there are more ways than one to immortalise the island, its people, culture and all that goes on here. When French artist Maud Nivet arrived and was finally able to explore it she began drawing sketches of everyday things she experienced and saw around the country. Now, Cultural Centre Phaneromenis70 is bringing these interpretations to life through a postcard exhibition in old Nicosia.
“When I first arrived in Nicosia,” said Maud, “as many travellers during Covid times, I had to isolate for 14 days. I took these two weeks as an opportunity to discover the city from home, catching the feelings of the surrounding buildings with my gouache tubes and brushes. A PCR test later, I was finally free. However, I didn’t abandon my sketchbook. I got a bit away from architecture to focus more on small scenes of life: my friends, people at a cafe, at the beach, in a waiting line for rapid tests, jamming, dancing, fighting for peace and their rights.”
The exhibition is part of Phaneromenis70’s project Delivering Views-Delivering Texts which collects photos and texts made by tourists who have visited Cyprus, introducing a new perspective to view familiar places through the eyes of a foreigner.
Maud’s postcards capture various daily local scenes – friends laughing, live music, the urban horizon and people coming together for freedom. Living in Cyprus for the past year, Paris-born Maud has been working on several kinds of art projects and performances. This time, she dug through her trusted sketchbooks to find her view of Cyprus.
“I consider my sketchbooks as a material extension of my memory. My aim is not to create photo-realistic drawings. It is more about catching energy, an emotion. When I draw, I’m in connection with my environment, for example, if it’s dark and music is playing, the sound will have an impact on my gesture. I find it’s a very liberating way to create. It’s been one year now I am in Cyprus and I’m glad to celebrate this birthday with the launch of a new series of postcards based on my work, for Delivering Views at Phaneromenis 70!”
Sketches and drawings of Cyprus by French artist Maud Nivet. October 15-30. Phaneromenis70 Cultural Centre, Nicosia. Opening night: 6pm-9pm. www.phaneromenis70.com