Local artist - Thekla Georgiou Papadopoulou - is exhibiting at London's 'The Brick Lane Gallery', as part of its 'Contemporary Painting 2014' exhibition.
The exhibition, which will run from February 19 to March 2, is comprised of 10 international artists, and Thekla is exhibiting 15 pieces under the theme 'Aftereffect'. The gallery describes the exhibition as "…focusing on the diverse ways of communicating through modern painting, with a thrilling variation of work from abstract and expressionist, to exciting twists on traditional methods".
Thekla describes her abstract landscape pieces as "highly personal dialogues with the natural world" and uses a wide range of mixed media techniques including sand, vitro, acrylic and oil, varnish, collage and found materials. The result is textured pieces with titles such as 'Aftereffect', 'Storm', 'Sea Change' and 'Emerging Landscape', which Thekla says are characterised by "richly textured surfaces which evoke the dynamics of the unfettered motion of the sea, and the brooding power and mystery of the landscape".
Thekla - who also teaches Art and Design at the American Academy, Larnaca - has exhibited in Italy, as well as nine times on the island - both solo and group. Aside from her exhibitions, she also has many of her pieces in private collections across Europe, and a staggering 310 at the Faros Hotel in Ayia Napa, which the hotel commissioned so that each guest room would have a unique painting.
Her love affair with art began from an early age and Thekla always knew that art was her calling: "Since I can remember, I always said that I was going to become an artist; the thought of doing something else in my life never entered my mind and my choice was never questioned by my family. In fact, my biggest fan and greatest source of encouragement has always been my mother. She has always believed in me and supported me."
After graduating from the American Academy, Thekla studied Fine Art and Painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti, Urbino, Italy. Upon returning to the island, she worked as Art and Design Professor, Foundation Course at Alexander College in Larnaca, before taking the position at the American Academy in 2003.
Aside from being an artist and teacher, Thekla is also mother to two boys, and finding the time to paint whilst juggling work and motherhood hasn't always been easy.
"There was quite a long time when I wasn't able to paint at all, but in the last few years I seem to have found a way to fit everything in. I don't have a specific time set aside for painting, I paint when I have some free time. The boys are old enough now that they sometimes come to the studio with me and we paint together - it's something I love sharing with them and is a two-way thing in that I love teaching them how to paint and mix colours, and I get the spontaneity and freedom from them."
Although Thekla is happy to have the boys at her studio at times, it is still her sacred creative space and once she is there she is able to completely immerse herself in her art: "It's so important to have a space/studio that is separate from living quarters, away from everyday life and daily chores. For me, my studio is a place where I allow myself to experiment, transform and produce art, and sometimes even produce magic!