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Exhibition of appliqués at Salamiou village

April 10, 2011 in the library of the Environmental Centre, at Salamiou village.
Dr Andreas Christodoulides, the Paphos District Officer opened the exhibition.

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The appliqués of Susan Vargas

The Pedagogical Institute of Cyprus (Centre for Environmental Studies of Salamiou), organizes an art exhibition by Susan Vargas. The show will be opened by Paphos District Officer Mr Andreas Christodoulides on Sunday 10th of April 2011 at 4 pm. The exhibition will last until 8th of May 2011. The work of Susan Vargas will consist of 15 appliqués.

The American poet Caroline Frances says about S. Vargas work:

Sewing pieces of cloth in a decorative way is a craft practiced by many cultures and turned into an art by contemporary artists like Susan Vargas.

At the end of the 16th century the Spanish conquistadores came to Colombia and saw the indigenous people almost naked. The Spaniards imposed their culture and religion on them and forced them to cover their bodies which had previously been painted with pre-Columbian motifs. This is when the “molas”appeared. They were pieces of cloth sewn together in very schematic representations of pre-Columbian visual culture and used to cover their bodies.

Susan Vargas’ appliqués even though they have to do with the Colombian tradition are very contemporary and universal. Her themes as well as her technique are of her own and remind us of her style in painting. The main symbol is the Bull. The bull is not only an indication of her background (her native country, bullfights, etc.) it also brings to light the interaction between the Latin American and the Mediterranean cultures. The titles such as “The Bull of Bogotá”, “Minoan ritual”, “The Bull of Cyprus”, are some examples of this.

In her appliqués she divides the surface and organises a distribution of the colour fields in such a way – often using diagonal lines – achieving in this way a dynamic composition.

In her work there is a symbolic dimension and she uses a multileveled correlation between history and contemporary reality. Some of these paintings are “The Bull in love with the moon”, “Argonauts”, ”Three apostles”, “Bull zeibekiko” and “Bull fight”. In her work one can notice flying priests, people enigmatically standing with umbrellas, boats in stormy oceans and mysterious rituals with bulls …

They are colourful compositions, full of freshness and vitality. The artist uses elements from children’s and naïve art to create a dreamlike atmosphere full of poetry and lyricism.

Susan Vargas was born in Bogotá, Colombia in 1963. From 1982-86 she studied art in Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, GA., USA and in Florence, Italy. In 1987 she studied at the Hocshule fur Angewendete Kunst in Vienna, Austria. From 1988 to 1989 she did experimental theatre and video art at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá. In 1989-90 she did a postgraduate course in art at the Cyprus College of Art.

In 1990 she started the “Praxis & Installations” with Rinos Stefani and in 1994 she participated in the Pan-Hellenic Art Symposium and she represented Cyprus in various international exhibitions, in Thessaloniki, Strasbourg etc.

She has had 7 solo exhibitions and participated in many group shows (Cyprus, Greece, Colombia, USA etc.)

She lives and works in Tala, Pafos.