Tuesday, 15 May 2007


Lemba (Oil on board) - work in progress

There's a companion piece to this Lemba painting, called Beyond Lemba; both from 2000, neither of them finished.

The reason I find myself harking back to them is that, in a kind of synchronicity, two references to Cyprus have climbed over the garden wall and stared me in the face. The most recent is a comment from Bee Skelton on my last post. The other is a pair of videos of the Cyprus College of Art in Lemba on Robbie Bushe's blog.

I've been to Cyprus twice. Once in 1999, when I stayed in Polis-

Polis Plaza (Oil on board - sold)

- and again in 2000, this time in Paphos..

This wasn't the best of times for me, so I didn't get all I might have out of the visits and my memories are filtered through a disagreeable haze. But I do still think of the long-eared hedgehogs I watched each night on the outskirts of Polis and the time spent in Limassol:

Limassol Cathedral (Oil on board, 10 x 10 ins.)

Most memorable of all was the day I had in Lemba, at the Cyprus College of Art. I was a year off graduation and still in the frame of mind where further education seemed the right course of action. Looking round the College in the hot sun, it felt like a place I could settle into and get some interesting work done. Like one of Proust's madeleines, Robbie Bushe's videos have brought back that time in all its many colours, both light and dark.

Events conspired against me and I never did get to enroll at the Cyprus College of Art. Maybe it would have done me good to go. Maybe not. That's all very much chaff in the wind now. I'm still here. Let's see what Gateshead has to offer today.


Bee Skelton said...

Well ain't that just spooky! The original college at Lemba is still going strong as far as I know, but the Limassol campus, where I spent time approx 3 years ago is closing and a new one opening in Larnaca anytime. Probably just as well .... the roof was leaking and in danger of disintegrating last time I was there ;-) I have to admit, Cyprus is a special place for making art ... all the usual reasons, mediterannean light, de-stressed lifestyle, interesting east-meets-west culture .... apart from the ouzo and Keo. Hope you come back sometime ;-)

Mr Zip said...

My link to the College shows that it *is* going very strongly and that the Larnaca campus is about to open.

I may well return one of these days, but ... so many places ...

ian gordon said...

I really, really like all of these.

It kind of amuses me (in a good way) how many unfinished items you keep pulling out of the hat as the posts go by.

Mr Zip said...

Thanks Ian. I'm finding it really useful to take a half-finished piece along to the Art Club every week and bring it to completion. I may start to run out of them soon, however, or get to the ones that are too big to take on the bus.