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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 [ Whatson by Zoe Christodoulides ]

Whatson by Zoe Christodoulides

Myths from a vibrant country

The legend of El Dorado tells of an entire kingdom made of gold. It is this tale that has inspired an exhibition opening in Nicosia this week

Today, gold is a precious metal that people love to adorn themselves with; be it a fancy ring or sparkling necklace encrusted with diamonds, it’s all about feeling fabulous in an expensive piece of jewellery. But in the rugged mountain area of Colombia centuries ago gold had little to do with showing off or feeling glamorous.

More than just a precious metal, it was a medium through which gods were worshiped. A far cry from a decorative body item, locals would throw pieces of gold into the lake of Guatavita as a form of ritual. It was here that the fabulous legend of El Dorado was born.

Meaning The Gilded One in Spanish, it began with the story of a tribal chief who covered him self in gold dust while he dived into a lake of pure mountain water.

Traced back to the 1500s in the Andes mountain range, El Dorado became a whole kingdom of the legendary Golden King.

The story sparked off a number of rumours, spreading as far as Europe, while explorers travelled across the seas in search of precious El Dorado gold. The most famous journey was undertaken by Francisco de Orellana and Gonzalo Pizzaro in 1541, who passed down the Rio Napo to the valley of the Amazon all the way to its delta. Among the most interesting stories was one told by Diego de Ordaz’s lieutenant Martinez, who claimed to have been rescued from shipwreck, conveyed inland and entertained by El Dorado himself.

It is this magical legend that acted as the main inspiration for the work of Colombian artist living in Cyprus, Connie Trapezaris, who will be exhibiting her work at the Alpha Gallery in Nicosia this week. Connie was born in Bogota and travelled extensively before settling in Cyprus. While living in London she worked at The British Museum and it was here that she was introduced to the splendour of museum exhibits. Her professional career continued at The Royal Academy of Arts in London, where she held her first exhibition about pre-Colombian art work named The Gold of El Dorado.

This is now her third solo exhibition, as she strives to blend a contemporary approach with symbols reminiscent of pre-Hispanic gold art work. “I’ve chosen to bring to life the way people lived long ago in a modern way. At the heart of it all is a love for my home country of Colombia and the myths and legends that spring out from its vibrant history.”

While metalwork flourished in the Andean and coastal areas of Colombia after 500BC, numerous civilizations produced thousands of objects in many different styles and various metal alloys. Leaders wore ornaments as a visible sign of their authority and a way of reinforcing their prestige with these sacred objects expressing a complex philosophy relating to the origin of the world and mankind as a whole.

While gold items accompanied the dead in their tombs, people gathered together for rituals in which the precious metal played a fundamental role. Of particular value were small rough figurines made by specialists who depicted human beings, animals and scenes from social and political life.

“My work is done with acrylic pastels, topped off by embossed symbols made of soft gold coloured metal. All the gold pieces represent rituals from days gone by, standing bright against swirling shades that represent the landscape of Colombia in the way I see it and feel it,” says Connie. “When the pieces come together on canvas I’m transported back home.” The names of the various paintings speak for themselves with ‘The Daily Journey of the Father Sun’, ‘Wisdom’ and ‘Messages of God’ being a few that stand out. Take the time to have a look at the paintings for yourselves and legends you were familiar with may strike you in ways you least expect.

The Legend

Solo painting exhibition by Connie Trapezaris. Opens May 23, until May 31. Alpha Gallery, cnr of Makarios Avenue and Papanikoli St, Nicosia. Monday- Saturday 11am-1pm and 5.30pm-7.30pm. Tel: 22-751325.

(Source: Cyprus Mail)

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