- bail in : Further raid on BoC possible
- politics : Our View: Politics remains the art of the unattainable
- coffeeshop : Tales from the Coffeeshop: Hallelujah, the Cyprob makes a...
- banks : 'Why did ministers not blame bankers?'
- Cyprus : State provides €4m for student grants
- Ambrosiadou : Elena Ambrosiadou wins legal battle
- Anastasiades : Anastasiades calms concerns over UN document
- Cyprus : UNHCR concerned over Kurdish families
- Cyprus : Teenager dies
- Cyprus : Road safety campaign
While all eyes are on the athletes making their way to London four local artists are soon to set off to celebrate the Games. ZOE CHRISTODOULIDES talks to them
As all the hype surrounding the fast approaching London Olympics intensifies, it’s not just the athletes that are knee deep in preparations. Nor are they the only ones that will be showing off their talents. Here in Cyprus, a group of four artists are particularly proud to be showcasing work at the prestigious Barbican Art Centre as part of a special Olympic Fine Arts 2012 event.
The occasion will see Katerina Attalidou, Stefanos Karambambas, Marlen Karletidou and Andeas Tomblin jetting over to the UK for a grand opening on August 1. Chosen to take part by Vinzenzo Sanfo - Curator and Vice President of the International Organising Committee for the event - they will be showcasing their works within a wider group of 100 European artists as well as plenty of other talents from across the world. All participants were selected after receiving positive evaluation from the Organising Committee.
The title ‘The Thames, The Great Wall embrace the world’ reflects the exhibition’s aim to disseminate and exalt the Olympic spirit and ideals through different creations representing a vast number of countries. While the first artistic event of this kind was held at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, works showcased in London will be moved to a permanent exhibition in China once they leave the Barbican.
Katerina Attalidou & Stefanos Karambambas: Harmony and Incongruity
The image that the artistic duo will be exhibiting is simplistic in style and has been designed to denote ultimate harmony. “A sailing boat appears on the horizon that links the Thames and the great wall of China,” explain the artists. “Travelling through from the west to the east it meets a Mediterranean city. The Mediterranean colours have remained unchanged ever since the first Olympic games.”
What’s most interesting about the piece is the way in which the images depicted alter depending on which angle you look from, with the artists having superimposed painted strips of cardboard onto the canvas, with differing images on both sides. These vertical lines suggest a discontinuation and invite the viewer to contemplate the scene from a different viewpoint. If you look at it straight on you’ll see a black and white aquatic seascape. A passing sail suggests a human presence. But glancing at the image from left to right you’ll see a palm strewn beach. Take a look from right to left and there’s sailboats against a bright blue horizon. “The Thames and the Great Wall have a great horizon between them and this image represents Cyprus; a place positioned somewhere between East and West. Those who view the image will be glancing at the space between the two zones.”
Stefanos Karambambas and Katerina Attalidou have lived and worked together in Nicosia since 2000. In 2002 they joined forces for the Electric Voices exhibition at the Pantheon Gallery. A number of collaborations followed, including work for the Paris/Chypre exhibition in the Diana Marquard gallery in Paris. They are currently preparing an installation to go on show at the Municipal Arts Centre for the ‘Terra Mediterranea/In Crisis’ exhibition organised under the auspices of the Cyprus EU Presidency council.
Marlen Karletidou: Vertical Journeys III
It’s all about colour and dreams in this ‘vertical journey’ as Marlen Karletidou exhibits work full of surreal and rather quirky elements. The specific work makes up the third image of a series that was previously exhibited in Argo Gallery in Nicosia last year, which went on to catch the eye of curator Vinzenzo Sanfo. Her colourful painting deals with the idea of a dream as both an experience and expectation. Seen and painted through a surrealistic approach, the dream sets our fantasy free, developing human consciousness and leading viewers into a new reality.
And how does this link in with the theme of the Olympics? “The image builds a friendly environment which everyone can be a part of,” the artist explains. Between the Thames and the Great Wall lies the idea of universal communication with the horses symbolising optimism, freedom and communication.
“In this painting an ideal environment is created for people, animals and nature to coexist in harmony,” she says. The repetition of a horse design on the cotton fabric creates a friendly and supportive environment; an atmosphere of positive, protective and flowing energies. The element of water then sets a diagonal dynamic in the composition.
Currently living and working in Cyprus, Marlen has exhibited her work in local solo shows and group exhibitions abroad including Greece, France, Switzerland, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, China and USA. The artist was awarded a prize in drawing at the 18th Biennale of Alexandria in Egypt in 1994.
Andreas Tomblin: Unity: The invisible flow of Chi
Abstract figuratism moves into the limelight with the black and white work of Andreas Tombin. His interest in the River Thames and the Great Wall of China comes from their power to communicate on a mental level allowing viewers to explore their own feelings and pursuit of ideals within our environment. “I try to document their flowing energy. The River Thames (water element) and the Great Wall of China (earth element), both share the same flowing pattern and visually combine to become one entity which embodies the Olympic spirit of balance, energy and unity in the deconstructed layers of paint,” the artist explains. When looking at the painting very carefully, some viewers will be able to detect elements of western culture while others will detect notable elements of the East.
The intention is to present the viewer not with a visual solution to a concept but to engage them in a visual dialogue of questions through the juxtaposition of the familiar and unfamiliar. “There’s a lot of hidden information in the image. Each time you look at it you might see something different,” he explains. I’m interested in the viewer peeling away the abstracted layers of paint uncovering the harmony of the eastern and western graphic forms.” Ultimately, East meets West and together they become one harmonious energy guiding you with unified ideals.
Andreas has exhibited his work in galleries in the UK, Cyprus and Belarus while his paintings are held in public and private collections within Cyprus, the UK, Greece and Belgium, most notably the state collection of the Ministry of Education and Culture, the University of Nicosia and the collection of Cyprus Modern Art in Larnaca. He has also lectured at various universities within the UK, currently standing as Assistant Professor in the department of Design and Multimedia at the University of Nicosia.