CULTURE

Symbols of civilization

Painters have their own vocabulary, an idiom that is expressed on canvas through the color palette. Sometimes, though, language itself and its long journey through the annals of history is an enticing source of inspiration to many artists. In an exhibition which was recently inaugurated at the Gloria Gallery in Nicosia, Cyprus, artist Mary Schina presents a series of works whose point of reference is the local writings of the eastern Mediterranean. Through 14 oil paintings and eight engravings, the artist «narrates» the history of this region’s written language, illustrating how the waves of history affected the evolution of the written word: from Minoan, Cypro-Minoan, Arcado-Cypriot, Phoenician, Mycenaean, and many more. Her works use the stunning colors of the sea and hieroglyphics washed over by iridescent waters. «My main source of inspiration was the eastern Mediterranean, the people who settled there in antiquity and, of course, their writing… The eastern Mediterranean was a melting pot of peoples, religions and traditions. Trade brought these peoples closer, made them interested in learning more about one another… The message I am trying to put across with these works is cultural rather than aesthetic,» says the artist. The exhibition will run until January 31 and then travel to Paris for a showing at the Maison de la Grece. Schina is a lecturer at the Athens School of Fine Arts and has held several solo shows in Greece and abroad. Her works can be seen at the National Library in Paris and the International Graphic Arts Society in New York, among others.