V. P. Vasuhan in Paris
While we ponder what is going to happen to our art when we all get together and the Conceptualists both Greek or Turkish
Cypriots merge (or clash) consider the creations other communities make on this island as well.
The new ones, too. Have you checked your Filipino ‘maid’s’ embroidery recently?
Maybe she weaves secretly in the evenings. Have you observed that a Bangladeshi student’s out of schools paintings
have something special? The colour is amazing.
Cyprus art is becoming global in every way.
V. P. Vasuhan – from Sri Lanka - used to work in a flower shop in Nicosia. Now he exhibits in Paris. Following the
Savva trail in a way.
Missed his exhibition at Bayadere, Paris last month but he sent me the images.
Exceptionally beautiful work.
A comment by Vasuhan:
"Every exhibition takes place with different paintings and different visitors. I feel that my journey has brought me far,
and that I still have very far to go.
I am usually looking ahead, absorbed with my future plans and art, and at the opening of an exhibition discussions with
my friends and visitors make me look back again.
This exhibition was a step up for me, but I missed Valerie Geoffrey, deputy Mayor of Saint Ouen, who had made a speech
at each of my previous exhibitions, and who passed away last June."
Paintings can be viewed on
Two of the ten
at Kypriaki Gonia
Here are some notes on two of the artists participating in the Artists of Fame and Promise (teachers at Cyprus College
of Art) at Kypriaki Gonia. More information on other artists throughout the summer as the exhibition continues until 11 September.
Anna Magdalene Georghiou was born in Torquay, south Devon, England. After completing her degree in Psychology and working
with people with learning disabilities she came to Cyprus to study fine art at the Cyprus College of Art and to discover her
She draws her inspiration from the Cypriot people and the traditional architecture of Cyprus.
Her paintings have an individual spirit and contain the finer qualities of painting; rich in colour, history, mood, atmosphere,
depth and mystery.
Her carefully negotiated compositions are skilfully and artistically balanced. Although complex, Anna’s paintings
feel organic and effortless, yet take several months and in some instances a couple of years to create.
She says of her own work:
"Honesty in painting is very important to me. I an not interested in painting for galleries, or painting to sell, as this
often requires a particular formula of what and of what not to do in accordance with what’s fashionable at the time.
“My paintings are not trying to be intellectual or academic. Instead I allow the subject matter to take care of itself
and aim to evoke a sense of tranquillity, serenity, beauty and hope through the rhythm, colour and form."
Phil Bird, musician and song writer, has had his studio at Cyprus College of Art since 2005, firstly as an artist in residence
and more recently as course leader for Foundation Studies in Art and Design.
During this time he has worked on a series of paintings, the narratives of which suggest the figures and landscapes of
myth and folk tale.
But these are not standard illustrations of classic myth.
Rather, they explore in an improvised way the open and interpretive nature of such storytelling. These are open narratives
in which the figures and their worlds emerge from the suggestibility of the painting process itself.
He says: "I never pre-plan a painting with sketches but allow an initial intuitive improvised use of paint to evoke image
possibilities, its about the powerful visionary and metaphorical potential within painting, the excitement of engaging with
materials, using colour, form, texture and composition to create a painterly space which compels us to believe and which engages
“But this process is not random, at every stage I make choices, select from amongst the many paths the painting could
take. I try to be open to what surprises me most. I don’t want to pint what I already know."
Phil hopes that viewers will bring their own creativity, experience and sense of interpretation to his work, as he wrote
in one of his CD narratives "there never was a tale that did not contain within itself a thousand other tales, nor a tale
which did not change its meaning, depending into who’s ears or eyes it fell."
The Arts Page made an error last week. Blame the heat.
The exhibition at Gallery Kypriaki Gonia is not of the students of the Cyprus College of Art.
Opening tonight will be THE exhibition of those painters and sculptors who TEACH at the College.
Nicos Koshis will open the show at 7.30pm.
Dr Michael Paraskos has written about these Artists of Fame and Promise.
"Here are ten artists, all of whom teach at the Cyprus College of Art, and all of whom believe art is an essential part
of human life.
"In their work, we see a real commitment to the making of art, not as an illustration of conceptual ideas, but as a sensual,
organic and creative activity. This is art that connects to life, both intellectually and physically and through that connection
it helps to reconnect humanity to the world."
Those participating are: Phil Bird, Andreas Efstathiou, Anna Georgiou, Margaret Paraskos, Kikis Patsalos, Stanley Paraskos,
John Sims, Stass Paraskos , Jennifer Harding, Geoffrey Rigden.
The exhibition will continue throughout the summer until September 11.
Gallery Kypriaki Gonia is at 45 Stadiou, Larnaca.
Cyprus College of Art was founded by Stass Paraskos in 1979.
It accepts 20 full time students every year for its Post Graduate course in painting and sculpture.
All students of the college have a university degree.
The college is very well known abroad. Articles about its activities have been published in many newspapers and magazines
in Europe and North America.
On 26 June Bolton University awarded an honorary doctorate to Stass Paraskos in recognition of his services to the arts.
Honorary doctorates are the highest academic awards offered by British universities to distinguished artists and scientists.
Art museum opens exhibition on immigrant sorrows, joys in US
Designed to challenge
A WINDOW washer dressed as Spiderman scales a building.
A nanny clad as Cat Woman attends to children. A pizza delivery man wearing Superman garb rides a bike with pies in the
The humorous photographs by Mexican artist Dulce Pinzon depict real immigrant workers in their everyday jobs. But the images
also proclaim them as super heroes who work gruelling hours to make a better life for their families.
It's an idea inextricably linked to the immigrant experience in America and one that echoes throughout a new exhibit at
the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago.
The collection, called ''A Declaration of Immigration,'' is designed to challenge US immigration policies and call attention
to unsuccessful attempts at reform, according to the museum's president Carlos Tortolero.
''Immigration affects the whole world,'' he said. ''Immigrants are human beings who live in this country and contribute
to this country. To be pro-America, you have to be pro-immigrant.''
The approximately 100 pieces - paintings, photographs, sculptures, quilts and artifacts - run the gambit of the immigrant
Quilts tell the story of Hmong immigrants. Photographs show a Korean family's appreciation of Elvis and soccer.
A retablo of carved figurines depicts the harrowing journeys some immigrants make to arrive in the United States.
Tortolero got the idea for the exhibition about two years ago when Congress approved a fence along the US border with Mexico.
He said he was disturbed that both presidential candidates Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama voted for the fence.
So he sees the exhibit as a way to open a discussion about immigration reform, particularly in a presidential election
A large sign at the entrance of the exhibit mimics the US Declaration of Independence, proclaiming that America is ''a
nation of immigrants.''
It also says that ''the construction of the wall along the United States-Mexico border would stand as a symbol of persecution,
much like the 20th century Berlin Wall.''
Several pieces criticise the Department of Homeland Security, particularly immigration policies like fingerprinting foreigners
Portraits by Danish artist Anni Holm feature the faces of three women from India, Columbia and Italy; their faces are comprised
Other works are haunting. In a series of oil paintings by Ana Fernandez, a woman completes menial tasks in outdoor landscapes.
In one, she vacuums the border at San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico.
Written on the border wall is: ''No puedo pasar indiferente ante el dolor de tanta gente,'' which translates roughly as,
''I cannot cross (the border) indifferently without acknowledging the pain of so many people.''
Other paintings and drawings depict non-citizen immigrants who have fought in US wars abroad.
A comic book-like drawing by Eric J. Garcia shows a ''G.I. Jose'' poised with a gun. A line underneath him reads:
''Always treated as foreigners except when needed to kill foreigners.'' Nearby an Uncle Sam figure says: ''Se Habla Espanol.''
The exhibit also reflects the lighter side of immigrant life.
One installation, called ''Phone Home'' by Mario Ybarra, is a glass case full of colourful international calling cards.
Another piece by Alejandro Diaz shows a series of tongue-in-cheek handwritten signs. One reads: ''No Mexicans/No Tacos/You
Better Think Twice America.''
Also included in the exhibit is a photograph of a 2006 immigrants rights march in Chicago when more than 100,000 people
took to the streets.
There's also a portrait of immigration activist Elvira Arellano, who defied a deportation order and lived in a Chicago
church for a year with her US citizen son. It's called ''Sorrowful Mother.''
The exhibition runs through September 7.
15th century terracotta sculpture broken in museum
NEW YORK (Reuters)
A 15th century terracotta sculpture by Italian Renaissance artist Andrea della Robbia fell to the ground inside New York's
Metropolitan Museum of Art and broke into pieces, the museum said.
The piece came loose from metal mounts attached to a wall in the European Paintings and Decorative Arts Galleries section.
The sculpture of Saint Michael the Archangel shows him dressed in armour and holding a sword and scales of justice and
had been hanging at the museum since 1996, the museum said.
The piece, which was 62 inches wide and 32 inches high, had its wings broken cleanly off but its face was not damaged as
it had been encased in a wooden frame, said museum spokesman Harold Holzer.
Curators and conservators were assessing the damage, he said. The museum would not say how much the piece was worth.
The piece was commissioned around 1475 for the church of San Michele Arcangelo in Faenza, a small town in Italy. After
passing through private collectors it was sold to the museum in 1960.