On a lovely warm December Friday, art students from Years 10 to 13 studying GCSE and A Level went to Nicosia to visit four important art venues. Their art teachers Miss Wright and Mrs Gajin accompanied them. It was a huge treat for us all to be with others who have the same interest in the arts, a mixture of Fine Art and Photography students; and make new acquaintances in such a stimulating environment. The first stop was at Zampelas Art Gallery and Museum, where we had a preview of a print making exhibition featuring eminent print makers from Cyprus, using a range of print techniques rarely seen in modern exhibitions such as lithography. We also had a tour of some of the museum’s highlights which the students found very diverse in media and theme, including cement sculpture.
After that we went to two further exhibitions at the A.G. Leventis Gallery, which occupied two floors of the museum. The topics of ‘The Aphrodite Paradox’ and ‘Paris Collection’ offered a very interesting comparison of works in pencil, oils and sculpture from four centuries. For some it was their first encounter with masters such as Boudin, Monet and El Greco. Some work is secured behind a secret sliding wall to protect it from UV damage. The staff at the museum were very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the exhibits, we had tours around each show which richly enhanced the experience. At lunchtime, we all sat outside the museum at tables there, in a shady spot, to reflect on the works seen so far.
Even more awaited us, our final visit was to NiMAC, Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre where we saw some contemporary photography showing images of recent immigrants to Cyprus who are refugees from Syria and other neighbouring areas. Apart from being enlightening about the hardships encountered by these people, it also featured some interesting compositions, abstract elements and thought provoking approaches. Four of the students with us are students of GCSE or A Level Photography, so this was a particularly worthwhile part of the trip for them.
We expect to see evidence of the visit in their coursework in 2018 and beyond, all students will be adding a report to their GCSE and A Level Art submissions.