Art is a way of life.
I was born in 1958 at Pendaya, Cyprus. Grew up and completed my high school studies in Nicosia. This city is the capital city of Cyprus and the only city in which has a dividing wall between two ethnic occupants in Europe. My childhood and teenage years have been at the most terrible times of Cypriot conflict. If it wasn’t active war there was ceasefire in my Island. I was kind with art and take extra art lessons. At high school graduation show in 1976 I had a corner filled with my paintings and ceramic sculptures, performed in the school orchestra playing Guitar and worked at the backstage for the drama club. In 1976 I went to Ankara, Turkey to study Chemical Engineering at Hacettepe University which was one of the English teaching institutions. Turkey was in social unrest and politically corrupt country. I stepped into another war zone. My fellow student friends nicknamed me Nero as I was to blame for smashing the wooden wardrobes to use as firewood in the last days of the seized Cypriot Students Dormitory. I pursue my Artistic interests on Photography and soon become the first honorary member of the Ankara Amateur Photography Artists Society (AFSAD). Working as an active member I joined to Photographic explorations around Turkey and exhibited my work in group shows. I helped cruoting the society’s first exhibition in Nicosia, Cyprus in 1978. At the mean time publishing articles of my thoughts and translated journals about photography in Cypriot periodicals. Performing arts were still my second interest as this time I was performing as an actor and singer for the Cypriot Students and Youths organisations on the stage.
When I came back to Cyprus I took up Freelance Journalism as my main job and started to work for various newspapers. As an amateur theatre actor I participated in first performances of the theatre group Nicosia Turkish Council Theatre (LTBT). By 1984, I was the sports page editor, journalist photographer and darkroom operator of the Turkish Teachers Union daily newspaper “Soz”. That year I travel to England first time with the Cypriot Turkish Champion Football team as a reporter. In the summer of 1987 I married with my English girlfriend and gave up journalism. Donated my photographic archive to “Yeniduzen” daily newspaper and set up their first darkroom. I worked for the Ministry of Education of the Cypriot Turkish Government as a primary school teacher for a while till me and my young English bride decided to settle in Britain. By this time I put my Camera down; I gave up education as well and started to work at West Sussex as a machine operator for a refrigerator factory Lec plc. West Sussex. Gradually I progressed as a Quality Inspector and at the same time got elected as a Shop Steward, representing the night shift workers for the Amalgamate Engineering Union (AEU). This was at Thatcher years in England where Unions were being ill represented and abused by the system. I was in a wrong place in a wrong time again. By 1993 very quietly Britain lost its oldest and last remaining Refrigerant Compressor manufacturing facility and I was redundant with 1600 others. I was one of the lucky one; I started to work as an air- conditioning and refrigeration service engineer. I toped up my qualifications From Eastleigh Collage; Gaining City&Guilds III by 1994.
I completed access course for Art & Design at Chichester College in 2003-4. I studied Ceramic Design Foundation at Staffordshire University 2004-5. Gain my BA honours in Fine Art from University of Chichester in 2005-9. I took a gap year to work as an Assistant Artist for the compilation of the Bognor Regis Sun Sculpture 2007-8. I participated in the University of Chichester organised major online performance event inspired by a unique composition for solo piano by French composer Erik Satie, entitled ‘Vexations’. The piece lasts for approximately 18 hours. The music consists of one short passage repeated exactly 840 times. In 2009 summer I performed in the “Open Platform” event of ASPEN Gallery, Portsmouth. That year I participated in group exhibition for “Quakers Bognor Regis”.
Mythological stories of Cyprus tell us about Cinyraids, whose dynasty in the lands of Paphos lasted over one thousand years. According to myth it all started with the stone mason Pygmalion who was so disgusted with the behavior of his fellow country women, he devoted all of his attention to his profession and never took a partner. Unfortunately, the love and beauty goddess (Aphrodite) played games with his heart, she revealed herself to him in his dreams. Pygmalion recreated an image of the goddess in stone and fell in love with his statue. Aphrodite pitied him and so granted life to his sculpture enabling him to marry her. Whilst I am not Pygmalion, neither do I share his vision in the creation of my own art works. I do not practice as an artist to satisfy my personal needs. I do not make art for beauty’s sake. I see my art as a platform for communication and translate my personal thoughts and feelings which spectators may respond to in their own way. This is an ongoing process in which one art work informs the next. As Marcel Duchamp once said “art is not art before it is scrutinized by spectators.” My art works are not prescriptive, they are open to interpretation.
I work with clay, stone, wood and anything I find available. I am not tied to a particular medium, the many making processes are a means to communicate my ideas which are often influenced by world mythology and history, contemporary life and the natural world. I try to translate these thoughts and feelings in my work.
I completed my Postgraduate diploma in Fine Art at CCA, Lemba, Cyprus in May 2010..
Had 4 fantastic children from my marriage which lasted for 15 years and now I am proud granddad of 2 great boys.