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Contemporary Design from Cyprus November 1, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Exhibitions Cyprus, Hellenic Light Europe.
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The Flip Side of Tradition is an exhibition of contemporary design from Cyprus.

It brings together for the first time in Helsinki seven artists from Cyprus producing original creations in traditional art forms with a modern twist. It is expected that the exhibition will arouse keen interest among the Finnish public, as the materials used by the Cypriot artists are also very popular in Finnish art.

A hundred exhibits will familiarize the visitors with the richness of inspiration and artistic craftsmanship of Gabriella Kokias (jewellery), Stacie Tzortzis (pottery), Lara Alphas (illustrations, drawings), Kalliopi Taliadorou (iconography), Stavros Kofteros (glassblowing), George Spyrou (woodcarving), and Simon Simakis (woodturning).

The inspiration for the title of the exhibition “The Flip Side of Tradition” came from the vinyl music culture of the 50s and the 60s, which arouses powerful nostalgic emotions in the baby boom generation and vibrant new interest among younger people. The very definition of the phrase “flip side” is “…an opposite, reverse, or sharply contrasted side or aspect of something”. In music it is “the reverse and usually less popular side of a vinyl record”.

The title of the exhibition stresses the connection of contemporary design from Cyprus with the huge impact of tradition in Cypriot society.

THE FLIP SIDE OF TRADITION – Contemporary Design from Cyprus >
Design Forum Finland, Basement, Erottajankatu 7, Helsinki. Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10-19, Sat 10-18, Sun 12-18. Free entrance, exhibition info +358 (0)9 6220 8132.

Related Links > www.designforum.fi

An exhibition by six universal Greek fashion designers October 11, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Cyprus, Arts Exhibitions Cyprus, Arts Museums, Fashion & Style.
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Greek fashion from days gone by > Get a different take on vintage at an exhibition of the designs of Greek designers who had a huge impact on the international fashion industry

Fashion is made to become unfashionable, Coco Channel once said. Coming from a world famous designer who ruled over Parisian haute couture for almost six decades, he must have known what he was talking about.

What’s ‘hot’ this season is ‘so not’ next season. What’s a ‘must have’ this winter will be considered terribly outdated next year. The fashion industry certainly knows how to grab our attention, making us desire things we would never have previously dreamt of wearing.

But there are times when celebrities tire of parading all the modern designs around. So what they do? Easy peasy. They re-invent a look from days gone by and walk down the red carpet in some vintage dress that makes them look a million dollars. And all of a sudden, it becomes the coolest and hippest thing to do as women around the world rush to recreate that porcelain skinned, red lipsticked, ‘belle of the ball’ look.

A few years back Renee Zellweger wore a lemon yellow strapless 1950s Jean Desses gown to the Academy Awards and the cameras would not stop snapping away at her. Jennifer Lopez also wore a moss green Desses gown, made with 50 yards of chiffon, to the 2006 Academy Awards and the crowds stood back in awe. The point is, both these celebrities were wearing dresses by one of the fabulous Greek designers that took the fashion world by storm in 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. But many of us are not even aware of their contribution to the fashion industry.

Thanks to an exhibition at the Leventis Museum in Nicosia, you now have the chance to view the works of six pioneering Greek fashion designers within the framework of a wider exhibition by the Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation. The fashion exhibition is taking place in the temporary exhibition hall, presenting important creations by Jean Desses, Yiannis Evangelides, James Galanos, Dimis Kritsas, George Stavropoulos and Yiannis Tseklenis.

After the Greek industrial revolution at the end of the 19th century, Greek men and women adopted ‘European’ fashions without it ever really being possible to establish a Greek haute couture. As Greek designers travelled abroad to make names for themselves in the 20th century, European and American women were beginning to wear intricate designs influenced by Greek fashion.

Desses in particular specialised in creating draped evening gowns in chiffon and mousseline based on early Greek and Egyptian robes. Moving to Paris in the 1920s, he started up his own couture house in the late 1930s, as well as his own perfume line.

Among his clientele were the Queen and Royal Princess of Greece, the Duchess of Windsor and society hostess, Elsa Maxwell. In 1962, he designed the wedding gown worn by Princess Sophia of Greece in her marriage to the future King Juan Carlos of Spain. In 1963 he retired to Greece because of poor health and passed away in Athens in 1970. But his legacy lived on. Recently, his fashion designs have seen a strong revival with the increased interest in vintage dresses.

Take a wander around the exhibition at the Leventis and you’ll feel like you’ve truly entered a world of the rich and famous of the past. You certainly won’t be able to miss the dresses of James Galanos, the Greek designer who had everyone talking in New York in the 1940s, swiftly gaining a reputation among high society. This is the man who designed gowns for Nancy Reagan, wife of Ronald Reagan, and whose work is characterised by fine craftsmanship, particularly in the use of hand beading, full, loose dresses and chiffon coats over simple sheaths, as well as the extensive use of silk fabrics.

Having studied fashion in New York in the 1940s, Galanos went on to work for top fashion designers in Paris and New York and soon opened up his very own Galanos Originals shop in Los Angeles. In 1985, Galanos received the Council of Fashion Designers of America Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2000, the City of New York began honouring fashion designers by placing bronze plaques along the pavement of 7th Avenue. Dubbed the ‘Fashion Walk of Fame’, Galanos was one of the first designers to be honoured. Though he officially retired in 1998, Galanos continues to make his presence known in the fashion world.

As you browse through the hall, also be sure to take a look at the designs of Yiannis Tseklenis that have been sold by leading stores in more than 20 countries worldwide, winning himself a niche in the wardrobe of thousands of well dressed women and men since 1965. You’ll even get to see the dresses of Dimis Kritsas, who started his spectacular career designing for Jaqceus Fath and the super trendy Balenciaga. If you love designs from days gone by, don’t miss this exhibition that gives you a glimpse into the biggest names that put Greece on the international fashion map.

Six Universal Greek Fashion Designers > The exhibition displays the work of the pioneer Greek designers, Jean Desses, Yiannis Evangelides, James Galanos, Dimis Kritsas, George Stavropoulos and Yiannis Tseklenis. Until October 28. Temporary Exhibitions Hall, The Leventis Municipal Museum, 17 Hippocrates Street., Laiki Yitonia, Nicosia, tel 22 661475 and 2 2671997.

Related Links > http://www.nicosia.org.cy and http://www.nicosia.org.cy/english/ipiresies_politistika_leventio.shtm

Cypriot artists open their studios > II October 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Cyprus, Arts Exhibitions Cyprus.
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Some of the artists participating in Open Studios

Chindos >
Where: Forza 9 Gallery, 1 Dem. Papamilthiadous Street, Polis Chrysohous
When: October 6-7 and October 13-14
Contact details: 99418245 and 99127428, chindosframegallery [at] cytanet.com.cy

Marianna Constanti >
Where: 3 Pallados Street, Paphos. From Kennedy Square, turn into Gladstonos Street towards Kato Paphos. First turning right and left again, second building on left hand side.
When: October 6-7
Contact details: 99-402636, boldo77 [at] hotmail.com, www.constantimarianna.com

George Kvezerli >
Where: L Tekniart, 16 Kinyras Street, Paphos, just behind the law courts near Moufflon and Travel Express.
When: October 20-21
Contact details: 99947439, vampy_tgv [at] yahoo.com

Karima Ben Otman >
Where: Karima Art Studio, 29 Ankaras Street, Limassol
When: All weekends throughout October
Contact details: 99-022912, koko [at] kokoart.com, www.benotman.com

Cypriot artists open their studios > I October 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Cyprus, Arts Exhibitions Cyprus.
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Seeing the place where an artist works gives far more insight into their finished product than merely observing it in a gallery. This year, 88 artists from Paphos and Limassol open their places of work to the public throughout October

Ever walked into a gallery and felt like you could cut through the atmosphere with a knife? An artist may pour his heart and soul into one of his works, but as it hangs in the exhibition hall, all that’s left is a finished product waiting to be purchased according to visual appeal. When the fairest of them all is taken home and placed on that bit of empty wall you wanted to fill, you’ve got a picture before you that is meant to speak a thousand words. But are you really in tune with what the artist was thinking at the time of creation?

Last year, artists from the Paphos district opened their personal workshops to the public for the first time ever, creating enormous interest as art lovers travelled even to remote villages to catch a glimpse of what happens behind closed doors.

This year, Open Studios is expanding beyond Paphos to cover the Limassol district as well. Each artist involved in the occasion will open their studio door to the public throughout various weekends in October. Artists who don’t have their own workshop will be exhibiting at one of the participating galleries. From Polis Chrysochous all the way to the centre of Limassol, there are 22 different locations that are calling out to be discovered by art lovers.

Since the idea was launched in England some 20 years ago, it has spread and gained popularity worldwide. Very different from the usual experience of visiting galleries, Open Studios gives you the chance to get to know artists in an informal atmosphere as you enjoy the privilege of spending time chatting and learning more about how various types of art work are produced.

“A traditional art exhibition can certainly be a bit sterile,” explains one of the organisers, Nic Costa. “Whereas walking into a gallery can be a bit cold and impersonal, Open Studios is all about getting to the know the person who has created the art work that hangs on the wall.” What were they thinking when they created the specific image? And how do they feel about the outcome? These are just some of the interesting things you can chat about when you meet the persona behind the picture that glares back at you.

Although Open Studios is something new for Cyprus, last year proved that locals are warmly embracing the idea. “I will never forget one Russian lady who visited every single on the artist on the list,” says Nic. “She was just so excited by the idea that she could spend a few weekends travelling around some beautiful parts of the island while popping in to discover hidden gems in personal spaces that are usually closed off to the public.”

You’ll have the unique opportunity to discover beautiful pieces of art that you wouldn’t normally stumble upon and if something appeals to you, it’s all down to a one-to-one transaction between you and the artist. “Being an artist tends to be an isolated occupation and Open Studios is a non profit making initiative that aims to directly benefit the creator without any of the commissions that burden the artist,” Nic explains.

With 88 artists taking part in the occasion this year, those involved come from very different backgrounds and cultures, and many of whom have enjoyed years of experience. And don’t expect just the usual paintings and sculptures as the studio doors open; there will also be video installations, photographic works, prints, textiles and mosaics to set your sights on. “There’s no selection committee to judge what goes in and what stays out,” says Nic. “The event is open to everyone that has had at least a year’s experience making art works. Because of the democratic system, it’s a complete mix and match of works with both amateurs and professionals taking part.”

With so many interesting things to see, organisers urge everyone to tell friends and family about the scheme. If you don’t live in Paphos or Limassol, it may be a good idea to plan a weekend trip down to the respective towns so you can really soak up the great atmosphere.

You can pick up your Open Studios guide now for free from supermarkets, kiosks and other retail outlets throughout Paphos and Limassol. In October, look out for the banners bearing the distinctive Open Studios logo on a blue and yellow background hanging near the entrances of each artists’ workplace. The special website, as well as the guidebook, provides the dates each artist will open their studio, as well as directions to each studio, addresses, and phone numbers.

Open Studios > Artists opening their doors to the public in weekends throughout October, 10am-1pm and 2pm-6pm. Personal workshops and galleries throughout Limassol and Paphos. For further information visit > www.openstudioscy.com

Limassol’s Mayor launches cultural celebrations October 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Cyprus, Arts Events Cyprus, Arts Exhibitions Cyprus.
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In an official ceremony at Limassol’s Evagoras Lanitis Centre yesterday, Mayor Andreas Christou launched the “European Cultural Heritage Days”, a series of cultural and entertainment events taking place in the seaside town throughout October.

“At an age of increased globalisation the protection and preservation of cultural heritage of each state and region is a significant challenge. The management of this heritage is the responsibility of the community, the Municipality as well as individuals,” said Christou.

The aim of these events is to showcase to people the architectural and cultural value of their surrounding environments. The days have been organised by the Council of Europe and the European Commission since 1991. Cyprus has been an annual participant since 1995.
This year’s events are themed around the relationship between cultural heritage and entertainment. The seaside town, with its intense commercial activity and matching entertainment scene was chosen as the ideal host to the Days. Events include dance performances, exhibitions at Evagoras Lanitis Centre, city tours and a Street Life Festival.

As part of the events, Finance Minister Michalis Sarris was present at the opening of a euro exhibition at the Carob Mill. The exhibition, which will start on October 22 and end on November 5, is part of the government’s new campaign to inform the public on the introduction of the euro in January. It will be held at the Evagoras and Kathleen Lanitis Centre.

Sarris also said there would be four euro-buses touring the island to offer information on the euro, especially to the residents of mountainous and secluded areas. The Famagusta Euro observatory yesterday announced its euro-bus would start touring the free Famagusta area on October 8, beginning from the Apostolos Pavlos Centre in Liopetri at 9am.

All things Brazilian in Cyprus September 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Cyprus, Arts Exhibitions Cyprus, Music Life Live Gigs.
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As we cool down with the end of summer, the heat is turned up by the Brazilian Embassy in Cyprus and the Pharos Cultural Centre with the fourth annual Brazilian Cultural Month

Whatever mood you find yourself in as October begins, there’s a lot of fun to be had as all the magic of Brazil reaches the shores of Cyprus in a joint effort by the Brazilian Embassy in Cyprus and the Pharos Trust. Presenting Brazilian Cultural Month for the fourth consecutive year, the events will showcase aspects of this colourful and vibrant culture through art, music, dance and films at various venues in Nicosia and Limassol. We’ve sorted through the list of events and give you the low down on the best of the lot.

Brazilian Contemporary Music with Ive Mendes > Arriving to perform at Half Note Music Club in Limassol, this is the first time that local crowds will be graced by Ive Mende’s presence. A real Brazilian diva, Mendes has already made a mark for herself in her home country, Europe and Asia. Born in Brazil to a family of Spanish, French, Portuguese and Brazilian heritage, Mendes brings a true cosmopolitan tone to unmistakably measured Brazilian grooves. Her songs, representing the Nu-Brazil style, are a beautiful bilingual blend of English and Portuguese, mixing tradition, soul and pop. All this is accompanied by a tender mix of bossa nova beats, slinky acoustic guitar and airy percussion.

Piano Recital with Arnaldo Cohen > The Brazilian born pianist Arnaldo Cohen, now living in the United States, has long enjoyed a reputation for wowing audiences with the musical authority and blistering virtuosity of his performances. Arriving in Cyprus for a concert at the PASYDY Auditorium in Nicosia, he will be playing works by Levy, Gnattali, Braga, Villa-Lobos, Nazareth, Dutra, Oswald, Liszt and others.

Cohen is regularly invited to appear as a soloist with major orchestras, notably with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the distinguished conductor, Wolfgang Sawallisch, and with other ensembles including the Cleveland Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic. In addition to his recital and orchestral appearances, Cohen was a member of the prestigious Amadeus Trio for five years and has performed with many string quartets.

Contemporary Art Exhibition by Anna Maria Maiolino > Anna Maiolino’s work has for some time been considered central to the development of late 20th century art in Brazil and Latin America, and she has increasingly received international recognition as a key figure in contemporary art. In a career that spans almost 50 years, Maiolino continually re-appraises her production, initiating new lines of inquiry often accompanied by the use of new media. Dealing with pressing issues of the time, an exhibition opening up at the Pharos Centre in Nicosia will present recent and past works by the artist, ranging from drawings and photographs, to films and installations.

Maiolino held her first solo exhibition in 1964, and during the late 1960s she produced a series of works using the written word, fabric and upholstery stuffing. Many of these were included in the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro. Since then, she has participated in numerous group exhibitions and held various solo shows.

Nicosia hosts the second Urban Arts Festival September 23, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Cyprus, Arts Exhibitions Cyprus, Arts Festivals.
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Next Saturday will see Nicosia host the second Urban Arts Festival

When the first Urban Soul Festival came to life last year, it was a brave move on behalf of the Pantheon Association. As a passion for the arts was mixed with a touch of urban culture, central Nicosia was buzzing with artists, musicians and writers who came together in the park between Eleftheria and Solomou Squares.

Breaking down the boundaries of everything the public had known, art moved beyond the four walls of a gallery and music shifted from the closed confines of a venue. As crowds lazed on the grass, soft electronic music played in the background and interactive performances lured the crowds in. Some artists were busy with their installations; others had their films screened with projections on the surrounding walls.

This year, the Pantheon is pushing the re-play button and organising the second festival of its kind. Wishing to take art out to the general public, the organisers hope that shoppers, those going for walk around town, or friends having coffee, will make time to stop by the festival.

A new addition to this year’s festival is a children’s area, which will include an exhibition entitled ‘The Euro Children Voyage of Exploration and Creation’. Through simple painting and paper cutting techniques, children will be able to create musical instruments, masks and costumes that will then be used for musical improvisation. The children’s scene is to be organised by artist Marlen Karletidou and musician Agni Sakka. 

The music scene will consist of DJ Magos, DJ Zen, Yiannis Trifon and others presenting hip-hop, reggae and electronic beats. Local bands and performance artists will also be putting on shows throughout the day. Expect some great vocals with funk-edged rock by Nicola K, a British-born Cypriot who will impress with her distinct soulful sound blended with an amazing power. You can also look forward to the fantastic sounds of the much-loved Zara der Arkelien, as well as a number of other acts to sweep you away.

Take a stroll away from the music tent and you’ll stumble on the independent publishers section, filled with local and international independent magazines and publications. You’ll also be able to look through comics, posters, stickers, t-shirts and postcards while you do a little shopping, as most of these items will be on sale. Scattered around the area will be a series of installations and works by various artists, with film screenings to be projected throughout the course of the evening. A map of the area will be available, also giving information about the concepts behind each work of art that you see.

Other interesting events to really heat up your night are an inspiring drum performance as well as Fire Poi Spinning, another variation on the ancient art of fire spinning. In this specific version, the spinner uses a special pair of fire-wick balls on a chain, twirling them in rhythm to create brilliant fire trails, patterns and circles.

For all those of you looking for a chilled out Saturday, you’re in luck as there’s plenty of space to relax as various food and drinks are served up. It’s a free, non-profit event bringing the arts practically to your doorstep. What more could you ask for?

Second Urban Soul Festival > Open-air festival with live music, art works on show and much more. September 29. Park of Eleftheria Square, Central Nicosia. 12 noon to 12 midnight. Free. For additional info call 22 670843.

Related Links> www.urbansoulfestival.com