From 1952 until today, Valentinos Charalambous has been a creative ceramist and a teacher in ceramic art. His work is divided into three themes, (a) murals, (b) three-dimensional sculptures, and (c) large wheel-thrown bowls. He comes from a family of traditional potters from Famagusta, Cyprus, and studied ceramic art in England [1948-1952]. In 1957 he was invited to organize the Ceramics Department at Baghdad’s Academy of Fine Arts, Iraq, where he lived and worked for the following 30 years. During his studies, he was inducted by the masters of ceramics the spirit, the demands and the pursuit of the new movement in hand-crafted ceramics.
Through his long career as an artist and teacher, his work sits within the framework of the characteristics and general parameters of the international ceramic art world. At the same time, his work doesn’t shy away from its Greek-Cypriot identity with clear influences from the many middle eastern cultures.
In his own words
One of the most distinguished Cypriot ceramists is unfolding the story and the history of Birth and Rebirth.
"When I agreed to place a sculpture at Nicosia Airport, I told them not to ask for plans. There should be no provision for intervention and opinions. Because I knew that the views of an official of the Ministry of Finance would not be in line with my work. I brought the work in pieces and assembled it in Varosi. In 1974 it was damaged by the bombing, and the final choice was made to go to Larnaca airport. This was also a time of acquaintances and situations. Years later, officials suggested that the art piece could transfer to Larnaka Airport. This happened in 2014. I saw the work again when I was 80. And the new Valentine came to mind when he was climbing the stairs, because the work was on the floor and we set it up slowly, hovering over the stairs and working… It was a nice feeling. Growing up, you forget what you were, what pains you had in your bones, in your hands to set it up, and you see it with new eyes".
Birth and Rebirth
The mosaic shows the history of Cyprus from ancient times until independence in 1960.
The artwork was created by Valentinos Charalambous in 1967 and it was a landmark at Nicosia International Airport until the illegal Turkish invasion of 1974. Today, the same artwork becomes a landmark of Larnaka International Airport. The rescue and hosting of this artwork at the biggest airport in the country was a top cultural priority for Hermes Airports as it symbolizes the progress of our country through the ages.
The Sense of Place project
Establishing a Cypriot feel full of culture, beauty, and vibrancy
Since day one, Hermes Airports introduced the concept "Sense of Place" at the terminals of Pafos and Larnaka International Airports. The principal objective was for the airports to express and promote the rich cultural identity of the island through a modern interpretation that would be reflected with artwork created by local artists.
Ten years later, Hermes enhanced the Sense of Place concept and broadened the idea beyond art. With the guidance of a curator, research was carried out based on a long process of material collection related to Cyprus, which took into consideration all the characteristics that signify today's life on the island through its evolution in history.
Larnaka International Airport
P.O. Box 43027 P.C.