Driven by curiosity and a passion for invention since childhood, the co-founder of the well-known ARTos Foundation in Nicosia is both a researcher and visual artist, or better yet, ‘trans-discipline creative person’ as he puts it. Achilleas also stands as the founder of Innovation Gym, Kids University, ResArt, Binary Art Group and other initiatives in cross disciplinary fields.
From a background in engineering and physics and on to visual arts, Achilleas often jets around the world to present papers in conferences and scientific journals, related to innovative thinking, techno ethics, contemporary art, new training approaches to knowledge, electromagnetics of the human body, geopathic stress, creation of new electro-acoustic musical instruments, research on the perpetual, telekinesis, social and philosophical issues and the list goes on!
As a visual artist, he has taken part in various international biennales, involved in photography, engraving, architecture, stage and costume design, installation, video art and short films. He has also participated in various international cultural events, symposiums, conferences, seminars and lectures, while involved in urban interventions/actions, online projects, geopolitical art, international projects and artistic publications.
My Cyprus Insider asks him ten questions about his life in Cyprus…read on!
1. Three things you most love about Cyprus…
The light, the air and the smell.
2. What spot on the island do you most love?
That’s a difficult question because there are so many places that inspire me. But if I have to mention just one, then it would definitely be floating in a small boat on the Protaras coastline. I wish I could choose something inland but I guess that’s the most minimal landscape I could get. That colour in combination with that specific breeze makes my body surrender to nature and miss it quite often. I wish I could do it more.
3. Favourite town?
Nicosia is my city which covers most of my needs by far. Maybe not so much the old city anymore because it’s predictable for me, like so many other historic centers around the globe. First the creative people move in, then the creative industry, then the cafes and the restaurants and finally shops and entertainment.
4. Best memory?
Camping with friends in Polis Chrysochous and exploring Akamas via the sea and the land. Every time I do this, it always fills me with good vibes and stimulates my spirit of adventure and I love sharing that with people.
5. From sunrise to sunset, what’s your perfect weekend break in Cyprus?
A trip with family and friends without a particular plan but with a spirit of adventure and discovery. Cyprus has so much to offer; little surprises everywhere. Starting from Larnaca, I enjoy going to Meneou for a walk on the beach and then on to Kiti to enjoy the amazing landscape all the way until Μaroni and Ζygi where you can have your lunch. You can then rest your body on the warm white rocks of Agios Georgios Alamanos and return to Nicosia via Lefkara and the surrounding region.
6. A day by the beach or mountains?
I’m a person who loves the sea. The biggest advantage of the sea is that no matter where you are, when you look into the horizon, you connect with the whole planet. Maroni is an all year round place to experience this, with lots of little surprises to trigger your mind and spirit. It’s a great place to share good moments with friends and locals.
7. Favourite place to eat?
‘To Stekki to Kosti’ in Aglandjia, Nicosia. For me it’s not just about the great food – with the best tahini in town – but it also represents a resistance to the “look like” culture we live today. I love places that tell a story. Not just a historic story, but rather, a story of the people who run it.
8. Favourite place for a drink?
I always appreciate the moment when you have your drink at a local pub or bar. So my place for a drink, even though I mostly enjoy my drink at the terrace of ARTos foundation, is Granazi which is in my neighbourhood of Ayioi Omoloyites. Cool drinks with positive vibes.
9. If you were to recommend a visitor tries just one local dish, what would it be?
Kolokasi (taro) with chicken. You don’t get to try it in many places in the world (if any outside Cyprus), it has the best “juice”, flavour and taste. With the right type of bread, you can have an amazing experience without a heavy stomach afterwards.
10. Best season in Cyprus?
I love all four seasons which are summer, summer, summer and summer! I don’t mind the heat and I just love being in the water, in a boat and under water diving. In the hot weather you can sense the gentlest little breeze touching your face. This is the Cyprus I love.