By Heidi Trautmann
The exhibition at the ARGO Gallery in Nicosia South was opened on March 9 by the well known Greek poet and writer Kyriakos Charalambides, born near Famagusta himself, with words of appreciation for the artists Katarina Attalidou and Stefanos Karababas who have signed their art work on the canvasses together not only because they are also a married couple. Sharing. Sharing and supporting memories. Katarina was born in 1974 shortly after the landing of the Turkish troops and the consequent division of the island of Aphrodite. Through her mother Niki Marangou, a writer whose book ..will soon be published in Turkish – it has been printed in other languages as well – through her strong ties to the city of Famagusta, her diaries, notes, letters and photos, she learnt to love the city of Famagusta as the place of her roots.
How do two artists describe or as the title represents it better – capture a city – they have not experienced bodily …as the poet, whose verses from his poetry collection “Ammochostos Vasilevousa” were chosen as titles by the artists, was expressing it with his introducing words:…. ‘the result is extremely interesting as it introduces a new perspective, a new angle of capturing the city of Famagusta, through the eyes of two artists who were prevented from physically experiencing it, yet energetically filtering through, transforming it through contemplation and dreaming. …their art is based on a combination of historical and visual data in cultured reflection, and hence re-reflection. The end result is a new concept, a new birth, a re-emergence of the city, which may, ultimately, fit in with the artists’ own existential reconstruction.’
It was an exhibition which touched my heart, not only by the professionalism of the 31 art works, but by the emotions that were shining through, literally as in some of the paintings and collages there were different layers of experience, re-told past and present, either painted on or installed or as lighted objects. The ARGO Gallery with the owner Maroulla Antoniadou is very well known and appreciated as very professional in the whole of Cyprus, also having exhibited Turkish Cypriot artists, among them Emin Cizenel and Simge Uygur, for example.
Katarina and Stefanos entertain an art school – not far from Ledra Palace crossing - which I have visited some months ago and I was impressed by the variety of art disciplines they were teaching to children and adults.
At the end of his speech Kyriakos Charalambides says … ‘art is a breath of fresh air, away from rhetorical recipes’ and he concludes with Leonardo da Vinci’s classical observation: ‘painting is visible poetry and poetry is painting felt’.
The exhibition is open until March 26 at the Argo Gallery in Nicosioa South, 64E D.Akritas Ave. Tel. 00357 22754 009