Svetlana Charalambous

As published in In Focus, Vol. 9, No 1, March 2012


SVETLANA LIOUSINA-CHARALAMBOUS was born in Vinnitsa, Ukraine. She studied Direction at the Theatre Institute of Moscow. She worked for two years as an assistant to the great Yuri Lyubimov, at the Taganka Theatre in Moscow. She has also studied music.

She has lived and worked in Cyprus since 1976. In 1978 she directed “The diary of a Madman” by N. Gogol for the CyBC theatre and, since then, she has directed dozens of plays for THOC, for the open theatre and for TV.

She paints since 1990. She first presented her work in 1997, at the International Symposium “Secrets of Creation,” in Nicosia. In 2000, she participated in the International Exhibition of Fine Arts, at the Central Home of the Artist, in Moscow. In 2000-2001 she had a major solo exhibition entitled “Signs of the infinite” at the N.K Perich Museum. Since then, under the auspices of the Perich Museum, Svetlana has had 27 solo exhibitions in various Russian cities. She is a member of the Organisation of Professional Artists in Russia and of the Global Federation of Artists of UNESCO.

Fifty three of her works are now exhibited permanently at the CHARALAMBOUS GALLERY, 7 Aigeos Street in Nicosia. Visiting Hours 16:30-20:00. Tel: 99364410 email:


by  Dr Klitos Ioannides

I first met Svetlana Charalambous when I returned to Cyprus after my studies in France, at the end of the 70s, at Pedhoulas, where her husband, the artist Andreas Charalambous, was a teacher at the local Gymnasium. A deep inner and intellectual dialogue developed between us. Over the years we discussed many things, sacred and holy, serious and profound. And some years ago, at Andreas’ Gallery, I spoke about the artistic work of Svetlana, at her exhibition then, and at artistic and intellectual meetings and gatherings.

In the intervening years, Svetlana continued her marvellous artistic journey and linked her own human microcosm to the macrocosmic spheres, with the perfect distant worlds. She brought, as the poet Cavafy would say, heaven to her art and transferred it to earth. It concerns an artistic conception and expression of the domains and civilisations of the soul, of the world of divine grace and of wonderful beauty, of landscapes unknown and transcendental. Svetlana has her own syntax and alphabet in the field of art and she silently and noiselessly brings to her pictures the prayer of her existence, becoming -by means of her paintbrush- an ontological, female, inaccessible substance, with new and unusual meanings, points that are Pythian and points that are Evangelical, in a musical, angelic picture which extends, like Jacob’s Ladder, from the earth to the depths of the sky.

The Roerichs (Nicholas and Helena), mystics, visionaries and researchers (and artist in the case of Nicholas), full of schooling in transcendental philosophy and creation, inspire and guide through their work their fellow Russian Svetlana Charambous from their place on high.

When you stand in front of the pictures of Svetlana Charalambous you are present at the divine liturgy of God, the universal liturgy. There you meet the harmony and the music of the spheres, the Pythagorean religion, the Pythagorean song of the god of Delphi, Apollo. In the work of Svetlana the lyre of Orpheus, the cithara of Apollo, echoes mystically. The world of the Gods and the world of man become one. Eternity and time meet and the miracle quietly takes place – heavenly liturgy full of grace, which recalls our transcendental origin and our eternal destination.

Svetlana, a priestess of colour, becomes a Muse of the light brought from elsewhere and through her own light, her glorious creation, we receive the light of resurrection, able to transport us to the higher worlds of the saints and of the perfect, angels and men.

Perhaps Plato’s “Republic” would look for such artists who, through the quest for the sacred and the lofty, far from unredeemed human suffering and feelings, could hear the word of eternal salvation and go beyond, with the aim of ascending one by one the stages to the eternal light of Being.

Svetlana shows us, through her artistic being, the other path, that of the return to the holy, ancestral Hearth. Well done, Svetlana, for revealing the divine fatherland to us and for showing us the secret language, excellently and uniquely.

Translated by Christine Georghiades

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