Fri 6 Nov, Nicosia: sipping Cyprus (or Turkish?) coffee, listening to the call to morning prayer, 24 degrees outside, perfect for thinking, working, photographing.
Moved residence to NiMAC yesterday, following the opening of British Artist Tom Dale’s exhibition Black Atolls – an eclectic range of art work showing everyday life at its most absurd; YBA meets David Shrigley.
The planning of my ‘rescue’ road trip around Cyprus, from Paphos to Aya Napia (tourist areas to the West and East), with Limassol and Larnaca districts in between – is coming together at last. People are responding positively: from the two English women who foster 45 dogs in their home (and have promised me tea and Lemon Drizzle cake…), to a Cypriot woman who runs a hotel for dogs and cats (Doolittle’s), and others who devote many hours for free to helping out at pounds and sanctuaries. Have tracked down a Manfrotto (kindly lent to me by University of Nicosia), a D800 spare battery and a few spare memory cards and stocked up with snacks for the trip.
Will miss the easy conviviality of Nicosia. Tomorrow a visit to the city pound with Rafaella, an organiser for PAWS (Protecting Animals without Shelter), is planned. One of the residents I have to be wary of is a Dogue de Bordeaux whose teeth were filed down by his (previous) owner. And in the afternoon a Dogathon organised by Nicosia Dog Shelter (situated in the ‘buffer zone’ between Greek and Turkish Cyprus).
Meanwhile I’ve spent time photographing the Feral Cats of the Pedieos River, a green artery that runs across Cyprus and through Nicosia. It is estimated there are around 2 million cats on the island (Oct 2014) and growing, many of whom live a semi-feral existence. Debate rages over questions about whether the cats should be ‘culled’, whether spaying programmes work, whether people should leave food for them. Some say they keep down the mice, snake and cockroach populations and some that they spread disease.
These otherly creatures live in the spaces (both physical and metaphorical) between; inhabiting the cracks between urban and ‘nature’, between human and ‘animal’, between reason and instinct, in a terrain vague.