Art for a Green Mind: Insights from the NYX5R’s artists

Only few days are left to visit the NYX5R, an environmental art exhibition in the lobby of NYX Hotel in Limassol, organised by City Friends Club with the curatorial team ARTNOW. The NYX5R showcases talented local artists who transform recycled materials into stunning artworks. ARTNOW Magazine has asked the artists how art could provoke people to think about environmental issues or even to change their habits. 

Christos Loizou: My work is created with posters I collected from Limassol's old town for three years. Using a technique I found through experimentation, I wet the posters and with stripes of duct tape I collect the ink off of them. Using that technique, I created the memory quilt, a quilt that collects the memories of different events that happened between 2021-2023 in Limassol. I am not sure if an artwork can change the way somebody thinks or make them change their habits, but I am sure it can give them some food for thought and trouble them for a while.


Nata Chebarkova: Of course, art can make you think and rethink something. I believe that this is the main goal of modern art. For my work, I took old furniture thrown into a landfill and modified it with polystyrene and construction foam, thus creating modern objects. For me, it’s about the organic combination of old and new, about something real and beautiful with a strong base and roots.


Dimitrios Ikonomou: I think it's the job of an artist to take the time to examine things in a way others don't have the time to. By definition, this is something that can also translate to the materiality of things, in other words finding different uses for everyday objects. It's what I tried to do when investigating the nature of copper, how it oxidizes / changes colour with heat, the different uses it already has in our everyday life, and how those can be shown in a different light. Also, copper's symbolism when it comes to Cyprus.


Alex Welch: I think art has always held the power to convey messages, evoke emotions and give the audience a chance to focus on a particular subject. As a lover of nature, my work is focused mainly on the natural world and humanity's relationship within it. My work aims to illuminate our disconnection from the natural world, the commodification of nature and the impact our species is having on this planet. As an artist and sculptor I am interested in the form of a structure, the material and its texture,  the resistance of the material, problem solving and experimentation. The way to combine various metals, their physical possibilities and the oxidation and aging process are an ongoing journey in my work.


Sasha Slepchuk: Anything can prompt change. You never know who has what trigger. My flowers are made of glass, reminiscent of candy, transparent caramel. This can attract attention from a “look how it can be” point of view.


Iacovos Loizou: Artworks can influence change through the creation of positive experiences. My understanding of the topic of changing behavioural patterns is that for people to change their views, they need to have first-hand positive experiences that kick-start their curiosity on the topic. Over a prolonged period of time, these experiences create friction that allows them to question the practices and behaviour, to discuss with others and therefore start considering how they could adapt their lifestyle. Art initiatives such as the NYX5R exhibition can play an important role in creating these positive experiences that will lead towards changing our habits. My artwork combined various types of recycled materials to create a recycled canvas. These materials include cardboard, tapes, staples and paper from delivery packaging, with scrap wood on the back to support it. On top of the recycled canvas, I created a painting using acrylic and oil paint, oil pastels, spray painting and which create a chaotic yet organised synthesis depicting various figures that are discussing how the world must become more resilient and greener.


Masha Adamova: Art is always a dialogue between the viewer and the work. Any change in us begins with questions to which we are looking for answers. In my video, I offer a topic for reflection and questions. I pay attention to the everyday moments in the movement of life. I invite the viewer to observe the continuous movement of the surrounding world in the vicinity of a person.


Fotini Michailidi: I believe that art has a unique power to go beyond language and cultural barriers, inviting viewers from all backgrounds to engage in a deeper level of reflection and contemplation. It has the incredible power to inspire people to think in new ways, and even prompt them to change their habits. It has the strength to capture attention, spark emotions, and encourage viewers to question their existing perspectives. Through my artwork, "Resilient Reverie", I seek to convey the message of reimagining and repurposing through the use of repurposed cardboard boxes. These discarded boxes were transformed into a captivating sculpture that represents the enduring spirit of cardboard, a material often overlooked and discarded in today's disposable world. By repurposing material associated with disposability, "Resilient Reverie" challenges societal norms that prioritize the temporary and encourages viewers to find beauty and inspiration in even the most seemingly insignificant circumstances.                


OPSIS: Art has many purposes and definitely one of those other than creating a certain feeling is about communicating something across. It can do so to all sorts of people with different backgrounds and knowledge of art. So it is a great tool for communication and making people more aware of different topics concerning the environment. It can lead people to question things, their habits, the world they live in, and the future they see themselves in. I personally have always been inspired by the environment and issues relating to it. Using materials I come across in my urban but also natural environment I like to tell a story or show another vision through those materials. I have used illustrations as well as sculptures from reclaimed materials to do so. These days I also try to represent landscapes which also allow people to have their own connection with the artwork and also raise some sort of questions bringing them back to the situation of the environment as a whole.


Paparazzi: People who see my art on the streets or like in this project — in the hotel, even if they do not attend any exhibitions, they stop to see the work and start thinking about it, so you start a kind of dialogue, I think it's very interesting. The main materials which are used for the recycling project at the NYX5R exhibition are spray cans as I am a street artist and graffiti writer. I’ve created a table and portraits of Girl with a Pearl Earring and Mona Lisa, these are the most popular images for everyone. We just give a new life to things everyone is throwing away.

1. Memory Quilt by Christos Loizou

2. Connection by Nata Chebarkova

3. Copper Busts by Dimitrios Ikonomou

4. The Horn of Creation by Alex Welch

5. Glass Flowers by Sasha Slepchuk

6. REUSE_REACT by Iacovos Loizou

7. Movement by Masha Adamova

8. Resilient Reverie by Fotini Michailidi

9. Troodos by Dimitrios Ikonomou; unGlued patterns by OPSIS

10. Mona Liza by Paparazzi