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This stunning replica of a Cypriot house was made by a talented lady called Dorothy Allen around 2001/3. It did immediately catch my eye as something special when I moved it to its new location on display at Lavdas Furniture, in Strovolos, Nicosia.
However, it was not until I began to ask Dorothy about specific details that I realised just how much effort had gone in to it. The ONLY way to do this justice was in a series of videos. There is a lot of information, but for anyone with a genuine interest, this is a world of knowledge.
This is not just a replica home, this is an analysis of people’s way of life. with every aspect including sleeping, cooking and eating. In the later videos, Anna who is a well known local historian, runs through all aspects of the house, its authenticity and the way of life that it represents.
Below is a brief synpsis written by Dorothy Allen in her own words.
In 2001-2 I was with a group of Greek women at the London Greek community centre when we were discussing my recent finished Victorian miniature dolls house. My latest hobby / work, after early retirement. Someone in the group said how it might be fun to do a Greek house and laughed.
Being the kind of person who likes a challenge I came up with the idea to create something different to the normal dolls house but a replica of a real Cypriot home and similar to what I grew up with in Vaslia.
As Vasilia is in the north occupied area and I had left at the age of 11years old I guess my heart still had a longing for that home that I would never see again. I needed to research and study everything to create an authentic miniature.
I didn’t realise this venture would take three years and various college courses and a fortune. I would like to say had it not been for Anna Michael and Eleni Constantinidou both originally from Moutoullas I may not have been able to achieve my creation.
Ana Michael in particular, who drove all over Cypriot villages in search of old houses, kakopetria, Pedoulas, Foini, Moutoullas and many many more. We drove through mountains and old parts of Nicosia, measured, photographed and interviewed old people who still lived in these beautiful homes.
Many thanks to both.
In London I had a lot of advice and enthusiasm from Stavros from the British Library and Gina Panayi who encouraged me with enthusiasm. Russell Craig (Theatrical designer and tutor ) and friend.
My family who supported me through 3 long years of study to achieve my passion. The Cypriot people showed me lots of enthusiasm and were extremely helpful in this project. Many thanks. Anna Michael has been an inspiration and and an amazing poet and writer.
At her own expense paid for all the photos incase there were problems and we had to go back and reshoot the sites. Her kindness and generosity is beyond words. She introduced me to her world of wild flowers by expressing their beauty and Writing beautiful fairy tales for children and the elderly.
I took one of her stories with me to Pafos and read it to the children 8-12- 16 and their friends. They no longer see them as weeds. Now the grasses became swallows, poppies were injured soldiers bleeding and flowers were people. They became more in tune with nature. Loved their reaction.
My one week in Cyprus had been hectic.
View at Lavdas Furniture