Before and After

Before and After

Here is my original graphite drawing of an old woman baking bread in a wood-fire oven. Here is the same  image after digital colour has been added. Only two months to go before the greatest event the Cypriot Community in Australia has seen for a very long time. The countdown has begun. So far, I have completed 12 pencil drawings, and I am currently working on the vintage colour posters (like the one shown above). I am also very busy designing and creating the large photographic displays that showcase all the wonderful old…continue reading →

Home Truth #9

  In this age of digital technology and the dreaded ‘selfie’ – the mystery, magic and wonder of photography may be all but lost. With the advent of ‘smart phones’ anybody can point and shoot and take countless happy snaps to record important milestones (or more often) – mundane moments in their life. Every waking moment can be captured on a tiny memory-card and unlike analogue technology such as negative film; the act of taking photos is instant and free. Through online sharing sites such as Instagram and Facebook – the proliferation of photos has…continue reading →

Home Truth #7

People used to worry more about surviving and less about their looks. It’s such a joy to meet people from a past era who have lived lives without the clutter and wastage of material objects and without being consumed with thoughts and feelings dogged by vanity or insecurity. This truth was confirmed to me by the many elderly Cypriots whom I interviewed over the last two years. These charming and humble individuals did not put-on any airs and graces. Nor did they display outlandish exhibitions of vanity or narcissism. These beautiful old souls…continue reading →

Home Truth #6

Before I begin, I’d like to clarify that although I believe that ‘knowledge is power’ – I sometimes wonder if we are bombarded with too much information. There is no disputing the fact that the 21st century is the most technologically advanced with regards to mass communication and mass media. We have access to more information about the state of the planet than ever before. I have always been alarmed at the rate of change and how electronic toys such as ‘smartphones’ have made it easier to access all sorts of information. Of course, there…continue reading →

Home Truth #5

People lived off the land and home cooking ruled supreme. It is true that my parent’s generation was mostly farm owners and they grew and harvested a variety of organic foods such as fruit, wheat, legumes and a whole variety of vegetables. Cypriots were an inventive lot when it came to food and cooking. They could extract a dozen different recipes from the one single food product. Take for instance the humble grape. The villagers would use grape juice to make their own wine, but also deserts such as Soujouko, Palouze and Lyko.…continue reading →

Home Truth #4

It was easier for previous generations to find someone to marry. At the time when my father was quite young, most men were free to roam outdoors and around the countryside without question. Most women were kept indoors – hidden. When a man decided he wanted a wife – others usually found one for him. It’s true, that until recent times, nearly all marriages on the island of Cyprus were pretty much arranged by the couple’s parents (or relatives). This practice was otherwise known as ‘proxenia’. Proxenia is the name given to the…continue reading →

Home Truth #3

Children in the old days were better prepared to cope with the world around them. Once again, the information presented here, is based on recollections of elderly Cypriots whom I interviewed as part of the research for my ‘Tales of Cyprus’ project. These interviews included a series of questions examining ‘the world of the young child’ growing up in Cyprus during the 1930s and 1940s or around the time when my participants would have been aged between 5 and 15. The most startling revelation revealed by the people that I interviewed was I…continue reading →

Home Truth #2

That Christians and Muslims in Cyprus once lived in relative harmony  Let me explain. When I asked the elderly subjects I was interviewing for this project ‘to tell me the truth – about how they co-existed with Turkish Cypriots on the island?” they all announced quite convincingly that Muslims and Christians were always friends. “There weren’t any problems,” they remarked. “We talked together, laughed together, ate and drank together, worked together, looked after each other’s properties when required and even celebrated village events together. The only difference was that we went off to…continue reading →

Home Truth #1

Those who had a lot less in life – often seemed more content. Despite the somewhat harsh and somewhat primitive conditions that existed on the island between 1920 and 1950, especially in the rural areas and villages, and despite the poverty, limited infrastructure, difficult life style, demanding working conditions, lack of formal education and public health, limited technology and industry – despite all that and more, people were somewhat content with their lives and appeared to take nothing for granted. In fact, compared to today’s modern-day citizens in our so-called civilized society, the…continue reading →