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Inner gateways October 15, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Exhibitions Cyprus.
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Cyprus-inspired paintings give a view into something akin to a wonderland

A naked woman with long dark hair lies foetus like deep under the ground. Above her grows a tree that reaches out towards the sun. The woman, covered in earth, is protected from the outside world, almost like an embryo cushioned within the womb. This is Rodica Lomnasan’s ‘Inner Gateway’. It’s her world, told through her personal vision.

The painting named ‘Nature’, which the artist declares as her “personal favourite” now hangs on the wall at Kallepia Gallery next to a series of her other works. They are all characterised by vibrant colour, where the everyday world is portrayed in anything but an everyday manner. “Everything I create comes from deep inside me,” Rodica explained. “I could sit for hours explaining the feelings that go into each piece but I don’t want to do that. I’d prefer for the public to tell me how it makes them feel.”

Born in Romania, Rodica is an artist and lithographer highly regarded both for her technical expertise and the complex imagery she brings to life. In a small trip down memory lane, she told me that as a child she would sit and paint continually while other kids played with their toys. She remembers that one day when she was only about nine, the teacher called her mother into the school and it wasn’t because she had done something wrong. Pointing a finger towards Rodica she said, “this girl has great talent.” From that day on, her path was clear.

Since graduating from the University of Fine Art in Bucharest in 1994, Rodica has been repeatedly selected by international jury panels and judges to participate in exhibitions in various galleries across Europe. From the Lageland Gallery in Holland, to the ENZO Gallery in Belgium and Simeza Art Gallery in Bucharest, this artist has certainly been around. She has also been awarded a number of prizes back home for her work.

Sensing a need to change her environment and recharge herself, Rodica moved to Cyprus two years ago, taking employment as a computer graphics artist. Since then she has continued to create and she claims that this exhibition will reflect that learning experience. “For me, Cyprus it is a quiet, orthodox place where I would like to continue to find myself, my soul and other ways to express my art,” she said.

“What really inspires me in Cyprus is the fascinating forms of nature, old Byzantine architecture, the feeling of stability and a rich history. I’m still processing everything and I do actually believe that in every place you go you are still yourself. So my art is a mirror of all my inside feelings with a touch of humour at times.”

Some of her paintings have a comic book feel as characters take on an unusual dimension reminiscent of a surreal wonderland. Others feel like they have popped straight out of a children’s novel, while some are far more twisted with a darker story to tell. In one, a cat appears with an almost human looking head, somewhat obscure as oversized and unequal eyes stare back at you. In another the world appears pink, as hidden characters in a fantasy town peep out through walls and tiny windows.

“I take all my elements from nature and my surroundings but I’m not talking about landscapes and portraits. I choose to show things in another way, sometimes from the inside out”. Although this at first may not make much sense, even just a quick glimpse at her work will explain that nothing is taken at its surface value in Rodica’s world. One painting sees a man crying over a city as tears become rain, another sees a black and white house standing alone that seems human as the walls have ears and the wide open door lets us in on unspoken truths. Examining it more closely, a figure appears to be looking out from the attic, perhaps trapped or secluded from the rest of the world.

“It’s really important for me that people receive their own message through my art. I can sit down and paint with certain thoughts, but people can interpret it in their own way. Sometimes I have people come up to me telling me how they view one piece or another, and it may be something I haven’t even thought about. This is what I adore about art, behind each piece there can be hundreds of hidden realities.” If you love art that really encourages you to dig a little deeper than the surface, a wander down to Kallepia Gallery this month should have a few surprises in store.

Inner Gateways > Solo exhibition by Romanian artist Rodica Lomnasan. Until November 5. Kallepia Gallery, Kallepia village, Paphos district. Friday, Saturday and Sunday 3-6pm. Tel: 99-752687.

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