By Cinzia Appetecchia
★ ★ ★ ★
In the heart of Cardiff, the MADE art gallery recently hosted a photography exhibition by a local artist and photographer, Kyriacos Asprou, to which I had the pleasure to be invited to see his work. I found a collection of pictures taken during a long trip around the country to frame the essence of what Wales has to offer, from the beautiful landscapes in the countryside to the vivid life in the urban setting.
Though he was born in Wales, he spent a big part of his life away from home, travelling and exploring the world. At a certain point in his life, he decided to reunite with his origins, giving himself the chance to get to know his country and its people, while documenting everything using his preferred means of expression and his job: photography.
The Wales- born artist joined the love for his native land and his passion for photography to give life to a country through images. It took him 21 days spread across 5 months, to visit a multitude of places covering all the areas of the territory: from the Welsh capital, all along the coast across Swansea, The Valley and Pembrokeshire, into the Brecon Beacons National Park, and all over the country to come back in the city of Cardiff. He travelled in spring, summer, autumn and winter, in order to give a view of the landscape’s changes during different seasons.
As Asprou told me, the exhibition is only a small part of a larger collection of shots at what he had the chance to visit and capture during his trip. Out of about 16,500 photos, he had to choose only 46 of them to put on display and he tried to select a mixture of both landscapes and towns and villages.
A video was available as well, showing a more dynamic perspective on nature that the photographer explored, through boat trips and walks in rural and urban surroundings.
Alongside breath-taking views of clearings, uplands, sea, caves, and beaches, cathedrals, local shops and squares were present too, with, of course, the beating heart of the country, its people. Local inhabitants were caught during their everyday lives, someone singing and playing in the street, others cooking in their local restaurant, someone drinking a beer at their favourite pub, others just taking a walk on the seaside.
A very high picture quality joined the artist’s love and pride for his homeland, giving life to an exhibition that makes it possible to really perceive a taste of Wales, and that inspires the viewers to go and personally visit the places shown.
Furthermore, praise has to be made for the welcoming and friendly environment present during the exhibition. The photographer kindly answered all my questions and offered to walk with me through the whole gallery to illustrate every photo and its story, explaining his experience.