KLEANTHIS MOUSTAKAS

KLEANTHIS MOUSTAKAS

Kleanthis Moustakas Kleanthis Moustakas creates mosaics in natural stone in his workshop in the village of Gialia, hidden in an unspoilt valley in the Paphos district of western Cyprus. He has studied the ancient art and craft of Cyprus both on the island and further afield, in Greece and the UK. His skills include icon painting and stonemasonry, but in recent years he has concentrated on mosaics, using his knowledge of the myths and legends of the ancient Greek civilisation as the inspiration for his work. Kleanthis' approach is to use the authentic materials employed by Roman, Hellenic and medieval artists. He searches for unusual and contrasting natural colours in the stone that can be found on the island and even his backings and cements include natural materials like seaweed and terracotta. Kleanthis' personal history mirrors that of Cyprus. He was born in 1958 in Kyrenia, on the northern shores of the island, one of a family of eight. When Kleanthis was only 16, Cyprus became divided and Kleanthis had to leave for the south. More recently, with his wife Julie, he has made his temporary home in Gialia, a village vacated by Turkish Cypriots fleeing north at the same time as Kleanthis moved south. In April of 2003, with Cypriots suddenly once again able to cross between north and south, Kleanthis saw his old family home again after 29 years. He had an emotional welcome from old and new Turkish Cypriot friends and in turn, two weeks later, he and Julie welcomed the previous inhabitants of Gialia who returned searching for their old homes.