Day two was all about Nicosia (Lefkosia), artefacts and the Turkish side…
We set off bright and early to the North town of Nicosia, which spans both the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides of the country. We travelled via the Kornos Coop Pottery, a women’s collective established many years ago to support a small community of women workers. Now only two people are creating traditional pots, and they are looking to retirement.
The two women demonstrating the making process, sit on low stools and feed the clay onto the bases of the pots at such speed, it was most impressive. I have posted a tiny film on my Facebook Page here (as I don’t have the facility to do it on my WordPress site).
We then headed to Nicosia, to the Cyprus Museum, which houses the Archaeological treasures in 14 galleries, including art pieces “from the 8th millennium bc to the end of Antiquity.”
And here I found mosaic inspiration in abundance.
The utilitarian pots had decorations on them that showed the domestication of animals including cattle and goats. Three of the designs were interpreted in mosaic later in the week for the kiln (watch out for when I get that one written).
And I was drawn to the fertility symbols, and most certainly feel a mosaic sculpture coming in the future… maybe for next year’s New Hopetoun Gardens Art in the Garden exhibition! They were flat figures, with breasts and/or arms, some had faces some with expressions on them… Not that I need any fertility help myself, of course, so may need to find another reason to make them…
And the jewellry was also inspiring. Throughout the visit, I was more drawn to the textures and use of decoration in all of the different items on show, maybe that is to do with the visual artist in me.
And finally, for my creative ceramacist friend Anna Olson, who has made gingerbread babies in clay for Christmas garlands, this piece caught my eye
We then headed into the town centre of Nicosia, via a traditional lace shop, and a leather supply shop. The leather shop is a supplier for some of the fashion projects undertaken with the Green Village shop in Lefkara, and is such an traditional, old-style shop full of leather notions!
Then it was passports out, and crossed the Green Line into the Turkish side. I won’t go into the history of it all here, and it is certainly complicated! There are sad stories of atrocities and also positive stories of neighbours of different origins helping each other, but complicated and still on-going. Ironically, there is a Peace mosaic (and another impressive sculpture nearby) right beside the passport control.
With a tasty lunch in the Buyuk Han, an old caravanserai with a good restaurant, some craftspeople and touristy shops – I bought a turquoise pomegranite ceramic vase to go in my new kitchen – we then had a bit of time out to do our own thing. I visited the Selimiye Mosque, which used to be a Catholic Cathedral until the Ottomans, and you can still see the building construction. As always, surface decoration appeals.
And finally, graffiti … always love a bit of graffiti and personal expression it allows