“Recycling inspires me” artist George Paphitis tells CNA

George, whose first personal exhibition entitled A journey: From scrap metal to sculpture, is showcased at Gloria Gallery, in Nicosia, until December 22, decided to start using metal during his studies at Stas Paraschos’ Cyprus College of Art.

I used glue and three-dimensional project since I was young, he says in an inteview with CNA. One day, he recalls, my teacher Alexis Michaelides, had brought an old welding machine and we thought we might give it a try. I was the only one interested.

That day, I simply welded two pieces together. The material simply spoke to me. I understood that it is my material, he notes.

He has been using metal in his artwork for the last ten year. It is a strong, robust material, he says, adding that it is also compatible with his interest in Greek mythology in general and Hephaestus who he particularly likes.

The fact that I am into recycling, constitutes an important part of my work, he says. I wish to send a strong message about recycling. That is to say, whatever concept I may work with, the fact that I recycle materials is always an important part of the whole project, he explains.

Asked where he finds the material he uses in his work of art, he replies that they are pieces that I find thrown away. In the past, George says, local factories dealing with metal constructions would give him pieces that were of no use to them. Nowadays it is more difficult, he notes, adding however that I will still not buy my material. He also makes new works from old pieces he has done in the past which he chooses to recycle.

Replying to another question he says that he has turned his garage, in the village Dali, to a workshop where he works on his art projects but that he also uses the space to teach children art, passing on to them his love for art and recycling.

Asked whether apart from metal he uses other material he replies that in recent years he also uses wood in combination with metal. I am interested in anything recyclable, he says, explaining that once more he uses pieces of wood that he finds.

Asked whether he feels satisfaction to breathe life to material someone else has thrown away, he replies that it gives me great pleasure that someone considered it of no use and threw it way but I took it and gave it a new form.

From a piece of rubbish, it has become something appreciated by people and myself, he adds.

Asked about the theme of his first personal exhibition he replies that he wanted it to be an open theme and that is why he named it A journey: From scrap metal to sculpture.

He explains that although he has been creating works which have to do with the Olympus Gods and Greek mythology, he has also created sculptures which have nothing to do with this concept.

Mythology is my greatest inspiration. Beyond that something that truly inspires me is the fact that recycling takes place. It is something I like, he points out.

According to his CV George Paphitis he obtained a BTEC HND from the University of Northampton and is a graduate of Visual Arts and Fine and Applied Arts from the Aigaia School of Art and Design, Nicosia, Cyprus.

Source: Cyprus News Agency