ROTARY IN CYPRUS
ROTARY ART INITIATIVE
Paphos Aphrodite Rotary Club has launched a new charity art initiative. This charity campaign is generously organised by local artist, Elham Razani, the wife of Robin Ullrich, one of the Paphos Aphrodite Rotarians. Together, with the full support of Rotary, they are offering the chance to buy a painting, or print, by Elham, where 20% of the proceeds will go to help the two nominated charities – The Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Makarios Hospital in Nicosia, and Shelterbox. The exhibition is an extension of Rotary’s fundraising activities to boost funds for these charities.
BUY ART WITH REAL MEANING
ROTARY IN CYPRUS – This is a unique opportunity to buy art with real meaning, whilst at the same time raising much-needed funds for two very worthwhile charities. Whether it is a piece of art for your home or office, or as a gift for a loved one, this is your chance to buy art.
ABOUT THE PAEDIATRIC INTENSIVE CARE UNIT
In Nicosia, the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Makarios Hospital is the only one of its kind in Cyprus. The unit treats severe cases, who are sent from all districts and hospitals across the Island. No private hospital in Cyprus has such a facility for children. The Unit, before Covid-19, treated Turkish Cypriot children, as well as refugees. It is a huge project which needs a lot of money, so Rotary Clubs from all over Cyprus, are supporting it in 2021 and raising funds.
ShelterBox was founded in 2000 in Cornwall in the UK, as a Rotary Club’s Millennium Project. With the support of Rotary members and clubs worldwide, ShelterBox has grown to be an internationally recognised, independent disaster relief organisation. Since 2012, ShelterBox and Rotary have been official Project Partners in disaster relief. Each year, Rotary helps Shelterbox go further and further, by supporting more people and accessing areas which would otherwise be impossible to reach.
They work with disaster-hit families worldwide, offering emergency shelter and other essential items to support them in rebuilding their lives. Having somewhere dry and warm to sleep, preparing meals, and being with your family, is vital for starting the long process of rebuilding a new life, after being displaced.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Elham is originally from Iran and first moved to Cyprus in 2011. She then left the Island, spending time in Qatar and South Africa, before returning in 2018. As a child, she was inspired by the rich heritage and culture of Tehran in Iran. After initially training in Economics, she found that it did not fulfil her creative ambitions. She wanted to further her artistic talents, and as she says herself, “Whenever new ideas come to my mind, I like to explore them with a passion and learn from each new encounter”.
We asked Elham why she was supporting these two charities through her work, and she told us, “Both my husband and I are extremely grateful for our lives and the opportunities we have had, despite any setbacks we have experienced along this journey of life. We wanted to support all the people in desperate need at this time, who are struggling to survive. We decided the best way to make a difference is to support a wonderful impactful organisation, such as Rotary, which serves those in need”.
PRIVATE COLLECTIONS WORLDWIDE
Elham’s art is included in private collections worldwide, including Iran, Canada, Qatar, Cyprus, the USA, Sweden and South Africa. In 2010, she held her first major art exhibition outside Iran in Vancouver, Canada. Most of her paintings in that exhibition had the primary subject matter of ‘women in the nude’. For Elham, the fact that these could be publicly displayed was a new experience, as when she had been in Iran, this was an iconography that was very much frowned upon. Her experience of holding this exhibition gave her a newfound sense of freedom. The exhibition, in turn, was a huge success and gave Elham great international exposure as an artist, which led to further opportunities of requests for magazine interviews and television appearances. The media was very interested in this artist from Iran, and the struggles she had endured. Elham decided not to partake in the media circus and to keep that part of her story to herself, for fear of reprisals, if she ever returned to Iran.
UNUSUAL STYLE OF ART
Her style of art is very unusual, with her speciality being hyper-realism. She now uses both mixed media and abstract techniques, which she has combined to create a modern and conceptual art form. As Elham explained, “I draw an enormous sense of satisfaction working with these two techniques. My eyes constantly scan people and the environment around me, where I look at situations differently. I believe everything around us is created for a reason. Therefore, I try to find the deeper meaning and translate this into my paintings”. She went on to explain, “I am a positive person and believe in exuding the positive energies of love and hope. As a result, most of my paintings include these feelings. As I love receiving these senses from people in my life, I love placing these feelings in my paintings to share them with the viewer”.
Many of Elham’s current works do show the female form. She explained, “I am not against men. I just love to paint the female figure”. She says, “They are strong, yet delicate, they are very powerful, though they are sensitive. A rose is beautiful. For protection from things that may cause harm, there are lots of thorns for its safety. Take care of the woman as you take care of a flower”.
Her Persian heritage is also reflected in her art. As Elham says, “People think that Iran is a desert, and the citizens are Arabs who only speak Arabic. After noticing this, I decided to portray my country through some Persian themes and use the colours of Persia to represent it. Working on this project has given me a deeper understanding of my heritage. As a result, I appreciate what the older generation has done for me, and I can be proud of the heritage I have”. To spread her message, Elham plans to exhibit her Persian works to a larger audience in the UK, USA and across Europe in the near future.
If you would like to support Elham, and help raise funds for these two remarkable charities, click here for further examples of her work. Buy art for your home or office. 20% will be paid to both of the charities, or you can select your preferred choice of just one.
Published by Cyprus in Style Magazine – June 2021
Subscribe to receive our Email Newsletters
MORE ARTICLES BY CYPRUS IN STYLE
Copyright Cyprus in Style Magazine 2021 – All rights reserved / Rotary in Cyprus