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The story behind the colorful All Saints chapel in Pissouri!

04/10/2021
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Culture / Arts
Religion
Countryside

A chapel that could have easily been part of an internationally renowned gallery is located at the westernmost tip of Limassol province. Behind it all, is the story of a British artist who fell deeply in love with the Mediterranean sun and lived in Cyprus as if it was his second home.

The distinguished artist John Corbidge was infatuated with the ocean blue from an early age, the light and colors of Greece and Cyprus. In 1969 he decided to settle permanently on the island, after leaving Athens because of the Greek junta. He set up many exhibitions, whilst creating projects for the Amathus Hotel, one of the first beach hotels in Limassol.

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He got married in Cyprus and stayed until his passing. He found himself in Limassol after 1974, when he was displaced from his own home during the Turkish invasion. He built a new house and studio in Lania, a village so idyllic that turns into an ideal refuge for an artist.

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The village house in which he lived in, is an informal art gallery display.

Subsequent to the invasion, he began working on a series of artwork titled "Bitter Sun”, dedicated to the tragic incident.

In 2001, following the invitation of the Columbia Group owner, he set about painting the chapel of a new, luxurious resort in Pissouri.

The design of the chapel, a result of the vision of Heinrich Schoeller and of the creativity of Vakis Chatzikiriakos, is inspired by the architecture of the early Christian and medieval churches around Cyprus.

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This is how the artist himself described his experience of creating the murals in the chapel: “The walls seemed to embrace me urging me to infuse them with a life of their own. From the very beginning I felt as though I was inside a rainbow, working at a desperate pace to capture and somehow stabilize the elusive rays of colours onto the beautifully curving surfaces of the walls. The result is a marriage of diversity of styles reminiscent of other ages, mostly Byzantine… A feeling of flowing energy and of tactility pervades…”

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In 2003 he held his last exhibition in Nicosia, but the chapel remains to this day an informal "exhibit", open to all visitors.

Information, photos: "The All Saints Chapel", Columbia Beach Resort 

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* NOTE: The tributes of the Project "History of Limassol" present information that has emerged from historical research thus far. Any new data is embedded into the tributes, once it has been confirmed.