Tuesday 24 April 2012

...village teas, superheroes, and greek coffee...

Yiayia's House - Pera, Orinis  Cyprus
Little did I know that by taking part in the first Hilgay Village Craft & Art Fair, that by the end of the day I would be transported not only to the Mediterranean, but also back in time to the dry sepia days of 1956. 
But I'm getting ahead of myself...
Thanks to organisers Gerry and Arijs, I was able to set up my stall the day before and stroll in Sunday morning raring to go. Although the craft fair itself was steady, the cafe served a heroic amount of teas, homemade cakes, and ploughmans' lunches! Perhaps in this instance I shouldn't have switched from catering to drawing?
Early in the day I was pleased to see Glenda and John again, who were responsible for the original Northwold art group. They not only commissioned from me my first 'Superhero' demo, but also showed us all how an art group should be run. 
Yiayia's House - Pen & Ink
Alongside selling cards and prints, discussing potential commissions and offering drawing tips - I was promoting the 'Hilgay Art Group' and was pleased to see the growing interest and response. I guess 'all' I need to do now is set up the group's first meeting, and see what happens...
One of my works on display was a recent drawing completed for my mother's eightieth birthday. A pen & ink drawing of my grandmother's home in Pera - a small cypriot village south of Nicosia - 'Yiayia's House'.
Austin Pearce, a local watercolour artist whose work I knew from various craft fairs throughout the year, recognised the architecture and asked me the location. Soon we were exchanging memories of the Island of Aphrodite. He had served in Cyprus in the mid-fifties, and as an eighteen year old, had often spent his free time painting and drawing the cypriot coast and landscape.
Bapou's kouzo for removing wine from the well
Austin's work became very popular and would soon be pinned up in the Dhekelia army base - it was either given away or sold to fellow soldiers and officers. Although he had visited the greek islands, he has not returned to Cyprus since 1956.
Naturally I offered to bring him back a packet of greek coffee (decaff), next time I was in London - "Yiasou, file mou!"
Coincidentally the very next day I would receive an email from art marketing advice guru artbizblog.com extolling the virtues of face to face networking. 

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