Glyn Hughes

25 September 2008
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Dora Oronti at Silks Gallery in Limassol
dorapic.gif

Silent Innocence

Miriam McConnon Papageorgiou at Apocalypse Gallery opens tonight, continuing until October 10.

She was born in Dublin, Ireland. She graduated from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin in 1999 with a BA in Fine Art Painting. In 2000 she completed a post-graduate diploma at the Cyprus College of Art, Lemba.

It was then that she met her husband, a Cypriot from Paphos, went to live in Ireland for the following three years where she exhibited in galleries in Ireland and in London.

In 2003 she returned to Cyprus.

The artist has titled this exhibition "Silent Innocence" and the gallery has sent the Weekly this information on her recent work.

"The viewer is confronted by the delicate form of the communion dress.

It is described in soft muted colours with the detailed work of the pattern of the dress repeating itself across the surface of the canvas.

The paintings have a quiet beauty and serenity, yet they also radiate a sense of sadness and loss.

The communion dress is one of the few possessions that the artist brought with her when she left Ireland.

As an Irish emigrant now living in Cyprus, the communion dress represents to her a time of innocence. It is a link to her homeland and to her childhood.

The dress hangs, suspended from a wire. It appears displaced and vulnerable.

The artist has extended the pattern of the dress across the surface of the canvas so that it shimmers against the background; a ghostly reminder of what she once was, an earlier stage of herself.

In a final attempt to release herself from the strong religious ties of her homeland, Miriam has cut up the communion dress and stitched fragments of it into some of her paintings.

Yet the struggle remains visible still, as she tries to let go of something that will never let her go and its weight carries with it a silent sadness”.

Review of Francis Bacon

at Tate Britain

By Michael Paraskos

TATE Britain’s retrospective of paintings by the late British painter Francis Bacon is probably the most important exhibition to see in London this Autumn.

Not only was Bacon a great artist, but the Tate has assembled such an impressive selection of his works that it is difficult to imagine a similar show being put together again for a very long time.

The basic format of the exhibition is chronological, albeit with a number of thematic diversions along the way.

In the first room this means we see a small group of paintings from the 1940s, when Bacon’s ability was starting to be recognised, but his reputation was far from secure.

Nightmares

Despite art world heavyweights, such as Douglas Cooper, offering support, the most important critic of the time, Herbert Read, disliked Bacon’s work with some intensity, as he felt it wallowed in the horrors of life.

It was an uncharacteristic bad call by Read, but the critical opinion on Bacon has tended to follow this same line ever since with the only difference being whether one thinks this is a good thing or not.

Certainly these early works seem to back up Read’s judgement, particularly the 1949 version of the ‘Screaming Pope’, or Head VI, as it is really called.

Based on Velazquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X, Bacon’s painting does seem designed to perpetuate nightmares. Yet one of the most striking features of the Tate retrospective as a whole is how undisturbing Bacon’s images really are.

An explanation of this might be that, after so much televised genocide, war and terrorism, we are more insensitive to this type of imagery than Read’s generation, but that does not really ring true. The fact is, Bacon’s art does not wallow in horror at all.

Rather, it seeks to make those emotions associated with horror somehow bearable by passing them through the filter we call art.

This means the unbearable image of pain, or perhaps angst, that we see in Head VI, is filtered through the historic art of Velazquez, and when it comes out of that filter, it has turned into something still uncomfortable, but nonetheless faceable. It is a process called aesthetic distancing.

One of the most important themes that Bacon seems to pass through this filter is the knowledge that human beings are little more than animals.

Although Bacon worked long after Darwin shocked the Victorians with his theory of evolution, in the aftermath of Auschwitz and Hiroshima, the animalistic reality of humanity must have been plain to see.

Distancing

Certainly it is there in Bacon’s work from the 1950s where he alternates between depicting dogs, baboons, chimpanzees and people all in much the same way, even down to showing them in zoo-like cages.

This attitude informs one of the special antechambers to the exhibition, where a selection of Bacon’s crucifixion paintings are shown, with the bodies of Christ and the thieves rendered literally part animal, part human.

Yet, perhaps the greatest test of this distancing process comes towards the end of the exhibition with a series of images, again in triptych form, relating to Bacon’s lover, George Dyer, who committed suicide in 1971.

Called Triptych May-June 1973, the three stark canvases show Dyer vomiting in a sink, stumbling across a room and then dying whilst on the toilet.

At first sight it is difficult to imagine a more raw or unbearable subject for art, and yet we can wander around the National Gallery in London and see hundreds of paintings, going back centuries, showing people being crucified, beheaded or skinned alive.

Like those images, the death of Dyer is made bearable to watch, and therefore bearable to face, through an appeal to the history of art.

For Bacon, that history was a fusion of Old Master painting and modernism, which can be seen in his adoption of the triptych form, his reworking of historic images and his broad-brush application of paint.

The result is that rather than wallowing in human suffering, Bacon offers us a lesson in one of the fundamental purposes of art: how to face unbearable emotions and still survive.

Evridiki Demosthenous at Opus 39

This exhibition will be opened by Dr Petros Stylianou, on Monday at 7.30 pm. It will continue until October 4.

Evridiki was born in Morphou but grew up in Lapithos and has been painting since 1956.

Her first teacher was Christoforos Savva to whom she owes so much.

In 1962 she acquired her diploma in painting and sketching by correspondence from the ABC School of Art in Paris (as Savva had already left for Europe).

She paints mostly from nature, and says: “I paint because I love what I do and it satisfies my inner needs, hoping I can convey these feelings to the spectator”.

Artist paints nude not nudes

PAPHOS based artist Kay Davenport sets pulses racing when creating her artwork, (well her husband’s, at least).

Creating her resin on canvas abstract artwork at her home studio in Drymou Paphos, requires temperatures of up to 100ΦC.

Kay says "working in such high temperatures, sometimes for up to 5 hours at a time can be very uncomfortable, so I lock the door, strip naked and create my artwork in the nude: I think I must be the only person in Cyprus to have heating on in the summertime"

As well as her artwork being temperature controlled it is also humidity and time controlled. Mistiming by just 60 seconds in parts, can result in a piece of artwork being ruined. Kay says: "Working with resin and mixed media on canvas has taken me several years of trial and error to achieve the effect that I feel really encapsulates my inner thoughts and emotions."

Kay, who moved to Cyprus 12 months ago from Lichfield in the UK added: "My latest works have been mostly inspired by the feelings I have encountered leaving behind family and friends".

Her latest works can currently be seen at the En-Plo gallery Paphos harbour, where she is exhibiting in the "Simply Cyprus Art Exhibition" which runs until the 29th September, and also at Matisse art gallery Paphos and Forza 9 Gallery, Polis Chrysochous.

Kay can be contacted on 99026354.

An adventurous

voyage

‘Silks Gallery’ in Limassol has an exhibition by Dora Oronti entitled ‘Tales of Hoffmann,’ until October 30.

The opening was followed by a party at Brio Cafe next door to the gallery.

As well as being an artist known both in Cyprus and abroad, Oronti is a children’s author.

The gallery is presenting both her latest works of art and also a series of children’s books that have been published in Cyprus, Greece and the UK.

With the paintings presented at ‘Silks Gallery’ the artist invites the viewers to embark on an exciting journey of imagination. The exhibition is distinguished through two main themes.

One of them is inspired by the opera composed by Jacques Offenbach, entitled ‘Tales of Hoffmann’. These abstract works of art transmit the viewer the sense of lyricism and open a pathway to imagination and the freedom to create his own interpretation.

The second theme that is covering a substantial part of the exhibition is the image of the sea, depicted in various aspects.

For further information please contact: 25 323 220; Email info@silksgallery.com; www.SILKSGALLERY.com

Wonderful debut

Stavri

Pericleous

at Strovolos

Municipal Hall

A dynamic exhibition with all kinds of subjects.

It’s actually a debut, but Stavri Pericleous has arrived with such energy and enthusiasm that it’s obvious she is already established and here for keeps. A great choice.

Archaic gods, Aphrodite too. Landscapes. Flowers. Take your choice.

A great debut. It closes tonight. Hurry.

Truly classical

Despo Frederikou has a show at Gloria Gallery.

Here is an excellent exhibition. Totally non-romantic. Unlike most exhibitions here – not a tear (gentle cry) near the canvas. In many ways a contemporary breakthrough for a Cypriot exhibition.

Despo Frederikou had an exhibition about a year and a half ago at the Municipal Museum in Hipocrates Street, Nicosia and it could have come from another clime.

Totally unsentimental. A truly intellectual array. Hints of Bridgit Riley and Vassarelly maybe but Despo certainly has her own voice and style. Original, pure, clear and extremely beautiful. Brilliantly classical. Our other Cypriot artists should visit this exhibition.

 
 
 27April2006   Art by Glyn Hughes - Cyprus weekly news paper           web creator  and updater V.P.Vasuhan -    http://vpvasuhan.tripod.com     @  redindian001   - Art work shop paris