By Heidi Trautmann
When you stay all by yourself your horizon becomes very narrow; this statement is valid for everything in life, and also in the arts. Having reached this point of insight is the first step into the right direction. New experiences are the food for our brain and soul and in the end for the outcome of our work.
Working in groups is essential and encouraging; the exchange of ideas and experiences, the assistance of others when in doubt. Ahhh, it should be the basis for society, so many mistakes and waste of energy could be avoided for the best of all.
With this in mind, the Thursday Artists went visiting the art school Nicholas Panayi entertains in Old Nicosia not far away from the Lokmaci Crossing. It was a spontaneous idea, after Nicholas told me that the group of people he goes travelling with every year, the ‘Earth Art Group’ are just about to be ready for their exhibition “The Colour Blue” after their visit to Greece and I thought it might be very interesting to see them work in the studio of the school before we see the paintings in the exhibition hall of Famagusta Gate.
The Art School is in a street parallel to Ledra Street in the Old City. Nicholas has faithful long-term students who go with him once a year on cultural trips to very interesting cultural places they plan together, which is part of the art school’s educational programme. They have been to the Czech Republic, the UK, France, Holland, Portugal, Russia, Greece, USA and Cuba and the South of France. Now it was Greece and the coming trip will be to Berlin. The aim is to discover art and culture as means of identification of the country visited and its people by visiting museums, local artists’ studios, galleries and fine art schools and do sketches and take pictures as we go along. On the basis of these sketches our group members establish their paintings.
We met part of the group in the studios totally absorbed in their work which is still determined for the exhibition. Nicholas took us on a tour through the various art departments and explains the educational aims. Exercises of composition, reflections on colour schemes and playful creation of collages for future projects, ways of researching a new theme. One of our ‘Thursday artists’ was fascinated by the idea and when she got home took up the idea and worked on some schemes for herself in the same way.
There is a big art library in one of the rooms that makes you wanting to sit down and leaf through so many exciting books; and Nicholas told me that art history lectures are held once a week.
For the break we joint the group on the balcony and discussed their upcoming event. “It is an experience we don’t want to miss”, they say, “it makes us relive our stations of travel.” However, they are already looking forward to their next trip to Berlin.
I have been attending nearly all of exhibitions of the art group’s trips and am always amazed to see the resulting works.
If you want to read more about the art school, do get in touch with Nicholas or visit his website.
www.nicolaspanayi.com 00357 99 511 509