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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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SOME 10 days ago, foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides raised expectations by announcing the possibility of a deal with Turkey for the opening of the fenced off area of Famagusta, for the return of its inhabitants. In exchange the Cyprus government would agree to the opening of Tymbou airport to direct flights. ...
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By George Psyllides PRIVATE auditors have expressed doubt the electricity authority (EAC) could be considered a going concern and have asked its board to draft a credible plan to tackle the problem, according to the auditor-general’s 2012 report on the semi-state company. Among other issues, ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ One person’s trash is another’s treasure ]

One person’s trash is another’s treasure

ELENI ANTONIOU meets an accessories designer (among other things) who surrounds herself in household waste to find inspiration

Albert Einstein once said that true art is characterised by an irresistible urge in the creative artist. Katerina Parpa has such an urge. She wakes up in the middle of the night and stumbles into a studio where she has created a world of utter chaos but nonetheless a world in which she creates true art. The talented and extremely stylish 28-year-old has a busy schedule that involves accessory designing, drawing and editing the fashion section of a well-established local publication.

When I meet her she is with two friends: a stylist and a fellow accessories designer. “I surround myself with creative people,” she explains. “I feel that I just wouldn’t be so inspired to create if I weren’t around people like that or sitting at a caf? on Makarios Avenue. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people is the key.”

Katerina was born in Cyprus yet raised, from the age of 13, in California, where her mother lives. This is where she would later take her passion for creativity to another level, studying fashion design and receiving numerous awards for her detailed abstract art as well as for pattern making. She also won an art scholarship from the Junior Women’s Club in San Clemente. “Anything that involves creativity is a passion of mine,” she explains. “And it probably all began when my grandfather, who was an artist, and my grandmother, a seamstress, taught me everything they knew from the age of about four.” She continues: “Like every fashion designer, I would make clothes for my dolls, then for my sister’s dolls. But I was also into drawing. It was all I did at some point. I mean, homework was not of any interest to me; making something though, was. It never occurred to me to do anything else.”
After finishing a two-year degree in California, where she used to commute from Orange County to the City of Angels three times a week, which meant waking up at three in the morning to be in class on time, she left for Milan. “I lived there for a year, studying Fashion Buying at the Marangoni Institute. I never got involved in that though,” she explains. “I only took the course because my dad made me. He said,” she puts on a heavy Cypriot accent and says in English: ‘Fashion is a hobby, not a job.’ So I had to take some kind of business course like Fashion Buying if I wanted to do this.” Meanwhile, the persistent young woman was spending all her money on beads and bits and bobs, creating jewellery in her spare time. This would turn out to be one of her biggest passions and eventually, a money-making hobby along with her drawings.

While creativity in Cyprus is not, unfortunately, considered a ‘useful’ skill, with many talented individuals struggling in the market, Katerina was smart enough to find an important and interesting angle to her creations. Under the name Carpe Diem, she has created a range of accessories including hair bands, necklaces, pins, broaches and earrings, made entirely out of old and used items. She uses scrap materials and random items to transform one person’s trash into another’s treasure. “I wouldn’t say I am a full-on environmentalist because I believe there are many boxes to tick before one can call themselves that but I do my best and the fact that I could spare some waste and save money at the same time appealed to me more than you can imagine.”

This is the main reason her studio, which is actually a bedroom in her apartment in Nicosia, boasts a corner stack of plastic bottles (“I still haven’t figured out what I’m going to do with those but I’m working on it”), old clothes and a trunk overflowing with broken accessories and fabrics. “I use a lot of fabric in my accessories, even my earrings have pieces of fabric, so I receive a lot of donated clothes and stuff from people, which I use in almost every single accessory I make.” Hair bands made out of intertwined wooly fabrics with white pearls adorning the side, dream-catcher inspired earrings and long decorated necklaces are among the hundreds of one-of-a-kind creations Katerina spends hours on. Hearts are seen in much of her art from drawings to accessories, “I take inspiration from anything positive. My art isn’t depressive and it doesn’t stem from a dark place. It has positive messages and is inspired by spirituality.” As a result, proceedings from exhibitions and sales go to charity, aiding children and the environment.

Towards the end of our interview, I feel a tad confused about what exactly it is that Katerina does. What does she call herself? She laughs: “You know I feel as though I have an unhealthy obsession with creativity, so I can’t really say I am one thing. I’d probably call myself a creative spirit.” That would make an interesting business card.

Katerina’s designs can be found at Psema boutique in Nicosia. Tel: 99-664554 or 99-578949,

(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.

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