Duration: 16 April – 25 May 2022
Organisation: NiMAC [Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre, Associated with the Pierides Foundation]
Curator: Yiannis Toumazis
Venue: Theatro Polis – OPAP
Artist: Despo Frederickou
Despo Frederickou’s new work, entitled Roman Years. The Journey Continues, is inspired by the history of Cyprus – the Roman era. In particular, the artist draws inspiration from the famous mosaics of Kato Paphos, which once adorned the Roman houses of the area. The beauty of these mosaics fascinates the artist, who is looking for new ways of expression to transform this exquisiteness into contemporary works of art. This is a unique experiential journey into the history of Cyprus, which offers at the same time many other great pleasures – visual, historical, but mainly pedagogical.
According to the artist, through her new works she aims at offering an experiential experience to the visitor. The elevated gallery of the Theatro Polis – OPAP (the City Theatre) gives the viewer the opportunity to observe the exhibition both from up close and from above, thus having multiple perspective readings of the works. One could say that the lighting of the theatre functions in a dramaturgical way, allowing the viewer to be transported back in time and through the works presented at the exhibition to experience a versatile “Roman” experience.
However, the element that especially impresses the visitor is the multifaceted and at the same time extremely modern artistic vocabulary of Frederickou: her rich colour palette, which stands out even more strongly on the transparent plexiglass, which is the typical “canvas” of her works. The geometric repetition, the almost three-dimensional painting approach, the rhythmical character and the monumentality of the compositions, create a sensation of euphoria in the viewer and enhance the desired experiential experience.
To achieve this impressive result, the artist made dozens of on-site visits to the archaeological site and researched a wealth of historical sources and archaeological archives. Her long and detailed notes as well as her precise sketches and designs prove the truth of the matter stated. In fact, it is this material that will be the trigger for the pedagogical and educational activities during the exhibition at the Theatro Polis.
Despo Frederickou was born in Nicosia, Cyprus. After graduating from the Arsakeio School of Social Education, she studied at the Technical University of Athens and was taught painting by Spyros Vassileiou, Yiannis Tsarouchis, Aginoras Asteriades, among others. Additionally, she pursued psychology, educational studies and teaching methodologies at the Ministry of Education of Greece, taught by the well-known educator Evangelos Papanoutsos. She went on to become an art teacher and worked in secondary and tertiary education in Cyprus, teaching technical, electrical and mechanical design. She has presented her work in sixteen solo exhibitions in Cyprus, Greece, China and South Africa. Her artworks can be found in various private collections in Cyprus, England, Greece, Canada, Austria, South Africa and China, as well as in many art museums and embassies in Cyprus and abroad.
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