Matete Martini will present her first solo exhibition in Cyprus this May and the showcase opens next week at Riana Raouna Gallery in downtown Nicosia. Titled Hug Each Other Again, the exhibition will run from May 23 to June 5, debuting a new group of paintings on canvas, photographs and drawings on paper.

The exhibition explores the physical and emotional need for intimacy through the symbol of the hug and how an embrace can be the vehicle to accept and understand not only each other, but ourselves as well. The showcase takes inspiration from the doctrine of French philosopher Maurice Merlau-Ponty, which suggests that the body should be regarded not as a mere biological or physical unit, but as the body that structures one’s situation and experience within the world.

The concept branches off into various subcategories and themes – anatomy and skin, the relationship between the brain, touch and emotion and the gesture of a hug reflected through brushstrokes, spray on canvas and photographs.

The multi-layered notion of ‘home’ is also explored in Hug Each Other Again, touching on the complexity of feeling safe in contemporary society. Exhibiting this body of work in Nicosia, a divided capital city, also plays a significant role for the visual artist as it tackles the symbolic lack of the embrace between the self and the other and urges visitors to reflect upon the need for acceptance and togetherness.

Hug Each Other Again

Solo exhibition by Matete Martini. May 23-June 5. Riana Raouna Gallery, Nicosia. Opening night: 7pm-10pm. Monday-Sunday: 10am-2pm and 3–7 pm. Tel: 22-462888.