I hope you will enjoy both your stroll through the gallery and reading my poetry and may these bring warmth to your heart, a smile to your face and good thoughts to your mind.
I would like to dedicate this site to two people who made a great impression in my life and whom I dearly miss:
Firstly, to my Dad, Zaven Iltchibekian, who was a true gentleman, with kind heart, very caring attitude towards human kind from all walks of life/creed and a shrewd businessman. I have been trying to follow his footsteps.
Secondly, to my cousin, Henry Shahbazian, who acted like a guardian since I left Iran in September 1979. He was the one who found me a job in a shipping company in Monte-Carlo where I headed in March 1980 after almost 6 months of stay in London and not knowing then what the future had in store for me. He taught me to be a tolerant person with my living/working circumstances and get on with life. He always used to tell me “Pepi, you are not going to stay here forever, it is just a stopover and your life will change.”. He was right: I met my husband in Monte-Carlo and moved to the UK in 1984.
Passionate about art, I wanted to study art but this was never realised. I am happy to say, later in life I pursued my dream by attending classes and now working independently. The Art History for me has been all the galleries/exhibitions worldwide I have been visiting and reading about artists; I have learned a great deal in the Academy of Life. My paintings are reflective of the journeys I have made.
How I Work
Since my arrival in Doha, Sept 2011, my studio is my sanctuary and that’s where I spend many hours working independently. When in Limassol, the extra table in our kitchen/breakfast room is where I work, I love this area to work in because it has a lot of natural light and good energy, it also looks out on to our garden and public park.
When I work I have to listen to music and that can be from all four corners of the world: it helps me to get in the mood because when I have this blank surface whether it is paper, board or canvas in front of me I do not know how the texturing is going to develop nor for that matter the colours and shapes, too. There are times that I work after midnight: when this happens, I just have the silence and thoughts as company; the quiet replaces the music. Somehow, when I start a painting it’s like travelling to an unknown destination and the surprise awaits at the end of the journey. The important thing is that I love what I do.
Travels Past and Future
One of my favourite books, given to me as a gift at the age of eleven, was an Atlas where on each page there was a map of a country with some geopolitical information: lost in my thoughts I used to hop from one country to another and later I would declare to my parents “When I grow up I am going to travel to all these countries and see the world.” Of course, they laughed at my ideas. How wrong they were but also how little did I know myself that I would travel vastly in the future, some for pleasure and some due to circumstances. I have travelled to countries in Middle East, Far East, Europe, Armenia, Russia and the USA. I have learned from my travels to respect other cultures, to come to know the locals, to taste their food and connect with the nature. It is my wish that in the future I make trips overland across Canada and the USA, and also to Nepal which has been beckoning me for a long time !
My Thanks
In closing I would like to thank firstly my husband, Miles and our two sons, Eugene and Peter and their respective spouses Zaruhi and Zahra, who have all been very supportive of my artwork. Secondly, my past teachers especially Ms Marilena Aristotelous, who was very instrumental in getting my 1st solo exhibition off the ground, her help has been both sincere and diligent and I value a teacher like her who makes the lessons something to look forward to and fun. Also thanks goes to Ms Tatiana Ferahian, who undertook the opening of my 1st solo exhibition: may she have evermore success herself in her own work. Last but not least, my profound thanks to all family, friends and acquaintances both in Cyprus and abroad who have wished me Good Luck and supported my work.