Heidi Trautmann

Saying Goodbye to a friend, artist and journeyman - Brian Self of Lapta passed away on 8 January 201

By Heidi Trautmann


Where the mountains meet the sea is the title of one of the paintings Brian Self exhibited in 2013 at the Eaved House in Nicosia. It depicted the landscape viewed from his home high in Lapta, where he had restored a ruin with much love and fine detail, as he was an architect. He had come here to live in 1998 with his German wife Elke who died at the age of 69 in 2011, after 31 years of happy marriage. Both were much appreciated by the foreign community. He co-founded The Foreign Residents (TFR), where he took care to arrange cultural events for its members and he also organized art events and exhibitions, one of them being my own in 2005 for which I am very grateful.

Brian was a perfectionist, an aesthetician, in whatever he did, not only in his art and way of life but also in the articles he wrote for local newspapers which he finally published in his book ‘Untidy essays’.

He had a philosophy of his own which he put into words with his short introduction to his last exhibition:

“The world is our scenery. Seeing means giving shape and form to everything our eyes take in as they play with the world. And because everything my eyes take in is in me, the symbolic, suggestive idols of the world can become icons. In the simplest terms art is the same as life; expression, making connections, always gravitation towards meaning.”

He was continuing a theme which seemed to hold his attention: landscapes and still lives and – with his sensitive architect’s mind – their transformation into basic forms and spaces. Proper composition, balance of forms and colours, was an imperative for Brian. Vibrant colours, overlaying each other, each transparent to show the life underneath. One has the impression of strong feelings reigned in by meticulous discipline. I loved the exhibition which represented his ideas so well.


The last exhibition was a key moment for him as he encountered someone there, a dear friend of mine, Ms. Léonie Brittain, with whom he formed a new partnership. All their friends were very happy for them and we are sorry that it came to such a sudden end. Our sympathies are with Léonie who has taken care to inform the family members in different parts of the world. But what stays with us are his interpretations of Cyprus which he loved so much, the island we have also come to love where we have made our home.


The funeral is planned to be on Friday which needs to be reconfirmed. You will find the details on my website www.heiditrautmann.com  under Cyprus Art News.


Where the mountains meet the sea
Where the mountains meet the sea

Brian and Léonie
Brian and Léonie

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