Photography and Text

By Farhad Nargol-O’Neill

Ireland – Toronto       




Farhad Nargol-O’Neill




Ode To Aphrodite And Hala Sultan

Nicosia, Cyprus, 2005




The success of my first mural in Cyprus, completed in 2004, led the British Council (Cyprus), ETEK (Technical Chamber of Cyprus), the British High Commission, and Turkcell to commission me to create a second mural for Cyprus. 


I completed this mural with the assistance of Greek and Turkish Cypriot art student apprentices in 2005.  The project was managed by the most excellent Ms. Sencan Yesilida from the British Council (Cyprus).  The opening was attended by dignitaries from Cyprus and the European Union, as well as by artists and residents of Nicosia.


The mural was designed to represent a coming together of the two principle cultural traditions in Cyprus, and so the composition features two female figures – Aphrodite from the Hellenic tradition (Cyprus being the birthplace of Venus in Greek mythology), and the Hala Sultan, an important first companion of the Islamic prophet Mohammed whose supporters came to Cyprus during the early years of that religion.  In the mural, both female figures face each other – Venus emerging from a shell, and the Hala Sultan heavily abstracted, with only the face area showing.  A traditional Cypriot floral pattern called “leftkara” brings the two figures together, and an image of the shape of the city of Nicosia is placed between them, symbolizing a shared history.


Heavily degraded by the weather, efforts at restoration are now being spoken about by the requisite authorities in Cyprus.






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