It is not only the magic atmosphere of Bellapais Abbey which transports the viewer into a world of enchantment, it is the artists who have created a most beautiful rainbow of Cypriot impressions. Kate Fenson, Margaret Bosworth, Max Dane and Mike Westall.
I visited their exhibition just in time to witness a German gentleman who lives and works in Istanbul but has an apartment in North Cyprus, carrying off one of the paintings he had bought from Kate Fenson. You could see he loved the picture he had discovered for himself and he admired the rich fantasy of Kate Fenson’s, the delicate brush, the stories she is telling.
It really is a most delicate work, the work of an innocent soul, believing in the fairies and an intact world where all live together in happiness, where the sea protects the sailor and his ship and where the animals fly up to heaven to ask for enlightenment of the humans.
Since leaving school and ending her time representing Britain in junior horse eventing, Kate has immersed herself in many things, including working as a care assistant, a building labourer and a factory worker, as well as a singer and songwriter in a band. As a mature student Kate obtained a sociology degree from Sussex University and then went to Cyprus.
What started as a three week holiday turned into a pivotal moment in Kate's life. She came back to England kindling a small spark about becoming an artist, a dream she had held from an early age. She bought a one-way ticket and returned to the country that had fired her imagination. In the magic of the Mediterranean Kate began to paint and by October 2002 she had enough paintings to hold her first exhibition here in Cyprus.
On her return to England Kate exhibited to great success and now has work showing in galleries across the UK as well as a publishing contract for her limited edition prints. With her artist husband and their little girl she continues to paint and exhibit and takes great pleasure in the growing success of her distinctive, playful imagery.
Margaret Bosworth whom I have watched working for some time now in our art group and whose lino cuts I have come to like very much, has two works exhibited in this group exhibition which shows in a completely different way a wonderland of her own. She described to me the background of one of the pictures. “ I often go to the open green market in Kyrenia because I love the offer of forms and colours and there I met some farmers selling gourds, and as they looked like music instruments, I took one up and “played the trumpet” And it that situation I painted when they started laughing madly.” Beautiful colours she used in her lovely compositions, showing a pure sense of life and joy.
MARGARET GOULDING BOSWORTH
Born in Connecticut, New England, Margaret is an American artist currently living in Northern Cyprus. Her artistic studies are extensive including Degree qualifications from the Philadelphia University of the Arts. The University of Oregon and Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. Also, time spent studying at The Haystack School of Crafts, Deer Isle, Maine and the Handarbetes Vanner, Stockholm, Sweden.
Her professional positions have included teaching art in the USA, UK and Kuwait, costume & set design, illustration and textile design. Over the years she has exhibited numerous times in group and solo shows within these countries and her work has found homes with private collectors across the world.
She has a particular passion for decorative folk art, Indian mungul painting and oriental art and draws much of her inspiration from these sources.
The artist Max Dane, Kate Fenson’s husband is known to me from past exhibitions in which he surprised us with a new technique of applying paint onto the canvas. Today he has displayed a series of typical Cypriot house details, beautifully executed.
Max Dane is an English artist currently painting and exhibiting both in Cyprus and the UK. He completed an arts foundation course at Bangor Art College, North Wales, and then went on to gain an Honours Degree at Leicester Polytechnic in Audio Visual Design. After graduation he jumped on a plane and worked in Limassol, Cyprus where he had spent 5 years of his youth.
Returning to England he had various Graphic Design jobs before setting up a successful partnership in Marketing and Design. Following the sale of the company he freelanced but after many years stuck in front of a computer the great outdoors beckoned. Royal Mail replaced the computer with a bicycle, gave him huge sacks of junk mail, lots of fresh air and eventually a clear head. A year or so and a few dog bites later, max, his artist wife, a 9 month old baby girl and a couple of suitcases left for Cyprus to paint pictures.
Mike Westall, whom I have never met, has some very interesting oil paintings on display, scenes of people on the beach, a peasant woman loading her donkey and a shepherdess how I have seen her in Karpaz. The sensitivity of technique reminds me a little of a Spanish artist of the 19th century. My respects.
Born in Colchester, England in 1955. Mike is an art teacher and painter, currently living and working in Cyprus. He has degree qualifications from Sussex University in Fine Art, Painting.
Mike has exhibited extensively throughout the United Kingdom and Cyprus and his paintings have found homes across the globe, including America, the UK, Germany, France, Canada, Australia and here in Cyprus.
The exhibition at the Bellapais Abbey will be open to the publich from 19 April – 18 May
Viewing times: daily 10 am – 4 pm