Art exhibition – An Amber Island by Costantia Manoli at Scarabeo on 18/04/10 – 01/05/10 Opening night cocktail party sunday 18/04/10 7pm
4 nikokreontos, 1066 nicosia, cyprus tel: 96696669
Costantia Manoli is a fine artist who specialises in portraiture and nude painting. She discovered she had a range of artistic abilities at an early age – art, writing and music – and has incorporated these into both pastimes and professions.
After studying English Literature in America and England – where she was published as a poet in various journals – Costantia went into the teaching profession and teaches English language, literature and drama at a private school in Larnaca. Painting in her spare time, Costantia’s earlier portraits were primarily in acrylic paint on foamcore or canvas and mainly featured family and friends, painted in a relatively realistic and always distinctive style.
Parallel to her teaching, she mentored students from both sides of the island in bi-communal workshops in America where her artistic talents were put to use in a range of creative activities aimed at bridging the gap between the two communities. It was during this time that her love affair with the diversity of people and their stories truly began, and her portraits began to take on a more mature approach, capturing and expressing the essence of the individual and their experiences in every brushstroke.
During a year of teaching at the prestigious Stanford University of California in 2007/8, Costantia honed her painting skills under the wing of the Bay Area painter Kevin Bean and explored different mediums and styles which led her to oils and the use of unconventional colour to twist the semi-realism of her previous portraits.
In 2009, Costantia joined the post-graduate art programme at the Cyprus College of Art in Larnaca. As part of her degree, she further explored the stories in faces, but this time she took them beyond the individual in isolation to connect them with Cyprus and the island’s history. Treating her subjects as part of the island itself: the landscape, the history – and hence the fabric – of the ‘amber island’, she began to also paint nudes whose forms can be mapped onto the scrappy and mountainous terrains of Cyprus. It is the culmination of this project that forms the basis of her forthcoming exhibition ‘An Amber Island’: the time-capsuling of place and person; story and history.
The exhibition – running from April 18-May 1, 2010 – will be held at Scarabeo in Nicosia and features part of her portrait and nude collection. Each person has a story and Costantia captures these stories and experiences in every stroke of her paintbrush, and in every little line on the face and body of her subjects. The majority of the collection are oil on canvas but there will also be a couple of pieces of her earlier work using acrylic on foamcore or canvas which narrate the painter’s journey of artistic discovery, as well as the stories behind the faces.
The exhibition will begin with a cocktail party on the opening night – April 18 – at 7pm and some pieces will be available to buy, or you can commission the artist for portraits and nudes.
For a preview of some of the pieces, you can visit the website www.costantiamanoli.com