Limassol street art celebrates Cyprus nature

Limassol street art celebrates Cyprus nature

In a landmark for the coastal city, large-scale murals are included in a new development that are being painted by an international artist. ELENI PHILIPPOU finds out more

Life and art are connected. As spring approaches and the weather turns warmer, life in Cyprus is best lived outdoors, on the streets. And there artistic interventions can add a splash of colour to the city. One project currently underway in Limassol sees renowned Italian artist Francesco Camillo Giorgino, known as Millo, creating eight open-air paintings that celebrate Cyprus.

Collaborating on the Art Square project in Limassol, where the paintings are livening up buildings under construction, Millo is crafting large, captivating artwork that towers six floors. With vivid colours and scenes that depict the beauty of the island’s nature and its people, the murals aim to become Limassol’s new landmark, contributing to the city’s efforts to become the European Capital of Culture 2030.

culture2 millio photo by daria vinogradova
Millo photo by Daria Vinogradova

Work on the large-scale paintings at Art Square Residencies in central Limassol began on February 28 and is expected to finish by April 6 when a Grand Opening Ceremony will invite spectators to witness Millo’s murals as well as an exhibition with children’s artwork. The artist will of course be present at the event to engage with guests and share insights into his work and creative process while revealing Limassol’s newest gem.

Bright colours, black and white line drawings and big faces are often found in Millo’s work with murals to be found around the world. His art can be found on all continents, on the streets and in permanent museum collections. This project in Cyprus is not his first one on the island. He painted murals in Yeroskipou in 2022 and Paphos when the city was named the European Capital of Culture in 2017. Limassol’s eight paintings will therefore be his third project in the country, the characteristics and beauty of which will be reflected in them.

“For this project, I’ve been focusing on two main aspects,” Millo told the Cyprus Mail. “The stages of life and nature and I’ve tried to combine them in a very peculiar way. I’ll be representing inclusivity, which is also the final goal of the whole project, and at the same time, I’ve geolocated the project here, in Cyprus, as all the elements of nature that will be present will be taken from the Cyprus landscape. I’ve been researching a lot about nature, which plants belong to the island, and what they represent in popular culture, plus I’ve been invited to paint on new walls for the first time and the idea is to include everybody, to create an experience for everyone.”

culture a piece in miami
A piece in Miami

Millo added he is excited to add such a unique element to Limassol. “Having eight facades in a square is something not very common and that of course can give the street art scene a push and consequently also tourism.”

In the project’s first week, the public was invited to pass by Art Square Residencies and watch Millo in action. This interactive element aims to stay alive even when the murals are completed as they are created to be enjoyed by all, not just residents of Art Square.

In addition to creating the murals, Millo will host a series of workshops for children in local schools throughout his stay in Cyprus. His workshops enhance the project’s aim of being inclusive and engaging people of all ages and backgrounds and will focus on topics such as creativity, the role of street art in contemporary urban culture, and the harmonious integration of art with architecture. Apart from gaining knowledge and chatting with the artist, the school children will also engage in hands-on painting, guided by Millo.

“Involving young children and teenagers in the workshop is part of the inclusivity of the project,” Millo explained. “The workshop will remain in the memory of all the participants and not only they will be able to paint but also ask me whatever they want to know. It will be quite the experience for all of the participants, myself included.”

The whole project aims to elevate the city’s image, placing it higher up on the artistic European map. This is echoed by the organisers of the project, developers of Art Square residences: “Limassol is changing every day toward becoming a city for people, for life, toward being a comfortable and safe urban environment. Pedestrian walkways and bike routes, parks, new galleries, cafés and restaurants and other public venues emerge every day. We are glad to be part of this phenomenon. We are sure that Millo’s paintings at Art Square will become another landmark of Limassol and Cyprus.”

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