Monday, 29 September 2014

Drama in the Med

by Amanda Dardanis 

Every thriving artist has a winning creative formula.

Renoir had his nudes; Lady Gaga has her theatrics. For Victoria Hislop - global best-selling author of The Island and inventor of the “smart beach read” – her strategy for success is two-fold.

The award-winning scribe has built a loyal legion of fans worldwide by always venturing bravely into humanity’s darker episodes – while simultaneously soothing her readers with an escapist sultry Mediterranean backdrop.

Hislop’s latest evocative offering The Sunrise (published this week – September 24) is no exception. Her fifth literary foray into the Mediterranean, The Sunrise is pitched during the Turkish invasion of northern Cyprus in 1974, in which many Greek Cypriots were expelled from their homes.

Hislop herself describes the process of researching and writing her latest novel as akin to “putting her fingers into a live electrical socket”.

‘Writing about Cyprus is a bit like licking your fingers and putting them into an electric socket – you feel the live current coming out,’ revealed British-born Hislop, whose 2005 debut novel, The Island, about the abandoned Greek leprosy colony of Spinalonga, has been translated into 31 languages and was turned into Greece’s highest-rating television series (she and her husband, British television and publishing identity Ian Hislop, earned themselves a walk-on part).

Recently, Hislop returned to the occupied region of Famagusta, Cyprus, where her new book is set, to take part in the 40th anniversary commemorations and rally. The Sunrise tells the story of an ambitious young couple, proprietors of the glamorous Sunrise hotel, whose fortunes are soon devastated by the conflict between Greece and Turkey.

‘Cyprus is still a very living story – the end of the story has not yet been reached and people still feel very passionately about how unjust it all was,’ Hislop, 55, said this week. ‘I met so many people there who had lost everything. For them, it is as if the events were yesterday.’

The popular writer was speaking ahead of her forthcoming appearance at the six-day artistic exhibition, Art Links Athens 2014, to be held next month from October 17-22.

A life-long fan of Greece, Hislop owns a property in Crete, where The Island was set and spends long creative spells in central Athens. She has also learned to speak fluent Greek (albeit with a French accent, she jokes).

Like the honorary Greek-at-heart that she is, Hislop confesses as well to an addiction to both music and dance. ‘I hate silence. To me, music and dance are more important than words. I even dance in my kitchen when I’m cooking,’ the steadfast Grecophile has said.

Along with The Island, Hislop’s two other previous works, The Thread and The Last Dance, were also set in Greece, while The Return focused on General Franco’s tragic civil war in Spain. As with Cyprus, Hislop found that many Spaniards were still reluctant to talk about the painful era, even today – and hid behind a “pacto de olvido”, a pact of forgetting.

The eloquent author, an Oxford-graduate and former travel journalist, said she couldn’t imagine ever setting one of her gripping novels in a cold climate like Russia.

‘My body hates the cold. My hands go numb, even in an English summer, if it’s below 20 degrees,’ declared Hislop. ‘Greece definitely supplies the warmth I need.’

‘I love Greece’s light, the blue sky, the landscape, the language – and of course, the people. There is almost nothing in Greece that I am “neutral” about – unlike my own country,’ laughed the novelist. 

Hislop will be delivering a free talk on The Importance of Books on Monday October 20 at 7pm at the Art Links Athens 2014 event. The multi-faceted festival will also showcase creative workshops and live performances from a number of other international artists, musicians and fashion designers.

Thank you to Amanda for this lovely article! To find out more
about the Art Links schedule, visit the website.

Thank you for visiting our blog.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Art Links - Athens 2014

Serendipity Magazine has been very busy!

A six-day adventure in Athens, Greece!

art - music - dance - fashion

Serendipity Magazine presents to you Art Links – Athens 2014. We would like to invite you to this arts and culture event that will attract the Athenians and visitors alike! Here are the highlights:

  • This event runs for six days, from 17 until 22 October at Hub Events in Gazi.
  • Make-A-Wish (Κάνε-Μια-Ευχή Ελλάδος) is our official charity organization. We are donating part of our ticket proceedings to them.
  • Victoria Hislop, the author of The Island will come and do a talk about the importance of books.
  • Katerina Vrana is a British-Greek comedian, and is performing live at Art Links.
  • We will have dance performances from local schools, Πangea World Music Center, Katerina Rodiou Ballet School and Todo Latino dance school.
  • We have over 12 artists exhibiting their work, from various media, including sculpture, ceramics, painting, photography and more. 
  • We have invited students to participate, by showing their work in a special gallery, and a chance to win the Student Best of Show. 
  • We are currently booking our musical events and have secured The Swing Shoes for our opening night party. Also, Dimitris Vasilakis (jazz saxophonist) is playing for our jazz night. There are more bands under discussion, including world music bands from Πangea World Music.
  • We will hold two fashion shows from two design houses, Raxevsky and Maraveya

So, this is where SM bloggers have disappeared to! 
Many other details are available on our website.

Thank you for visiting our blog.

Friday, 30 May 2014

An adventure with Athens Art Studio!

Photography Workshop on Location in SANTORINI

Athens Art Studio is organizing a unique workshop at the magical photography destination, Santorini. This three day workshop allows for both indoor and outdoor shooting locations, while you enjoy a trip to this wonderful island.

The team offers theoretical and technical applications for various outdoor photographic conditions, using professional equipment and know-how. Two models will be available for on-location shots, including the famous sunset hours.

Dates: 19 - 22 June 2014
Group spaces limited to 15 people

For more information, please contact: 

Telephone: 210 993 9995 and 210 970 3980

Athens Art Studio is a collaborator with Art Links, an exciting new project from the team at Serendipity Magazine! More news about this soon...

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