Title of event: The Corner of a Foreign Field-

Category: Travellers of the World

Venue: Lemona village, Paphos District. Lemona school (empty since 1987)

Artists: Lia Lapithi, Nic Costa

Participants: Lemona village expats

Media: Food Interactive/Multi-media art installation/interviews/ website/ publication


Brief description:

In recent years Pafos, has been populated by large numbers of foreigners- each seeking to find their own 'corner of a foreign field'. A food event influenced from ancient Greek theatre plays (tragedies from tragos-goat) with a small nod to Bunuel’s films. A culinary experience to celebrate life in “the Corner of a Foreign Field” and “where all can expect to encounter and be entertained by the unexpected”. The venue of this art soiree local winery on Saturday evening  October 24th 2015. Invitations and a menu was sent to Lemona residents early September, explaining their participatory part and that it would be filmed and screened  as an art installation.

Both the choreographed meal (along with interviews of the residents by artist Nic Costa) will be exhibited in the village Lemona school building during the Pafos EU Capital Year, on the 19/05/2017.


The making of the event:

1) Open Call

Parallel to the invitations sent to the Lemona participants, an Open Call was placed in the Cyprus Mail newspaper during the 4 Sundays of September 2015, asking for dancers to participate in the Choreographed Meal. Rehearsals then began on the next two Sundays in  October 2015, at the studio of Yves Leblanc, rehearsing posture, to how to hold a plate to foxtrot dancing. The concept was explained, team work was encouraged, and each person was allocated a “role”.


2) Community engagement

The Menu was symbolic-Invitations and the symbolic Menu was send a month ago, labelled as an art-soiree with food included. All the “foreign” local Lemona community were invited. Dress code was formal, mobiles were asked to be switched off, there were no allocated seating arrangements, so guests could move about taking their own photographs and videos.

A month after the soiree, one of the guests, David Marks, sent us a 16 minute video he later edited, ending with his own take-on explanation at the end:

Well that was fun wasn’t it? But what actually was it all about?  Well the evening was part of the forthcoming Pafos city of culture 2017 event, and this project was designed to signify the presence of foreigners expats here in this Greenland in the far corner of Europe. That’s why the theme running the evening was “The Corner of a foreign field”. In ancient Greek plays the narrator was always a he-goat, and that is why our chief choreographer of that evening was wearing the mask of a ram and all his helpers were wearing sheep masks.

Now the menu was of great significance, the green salad and the wine from the Tsangarides Winery signified the fact that we live in a very green part. The lemone which we plaugged from the tree by the narrator was of course because the whole thing takes place in Lemona. The snails illustrate the fact that wherever we travel we can take our homes with us, and the lamb chops shows that the local people, the helpers freely give themselves to the strangers, to the guests.

David Marks ends his explanation on camera with a wink to surrealism ambience of the evening, saying that:

Any thoughts that the event might have anything to do with the supernatural are clearly misplaced. 




Lemona is a tumbledown hamlet in the Paphos district with a permanent population of some 42 individuals. The majority of the residents were born in countries other than Cyprus who have subsequently chosen to settle in Cyprus late in life.

In the 1950s the village had a native population numbering some 250 individuals. Due to economic and social difficulties the village entered a period of rapid decline and many left to relocate to other countries such as South Africa, Australia, and the United Kingdom many of whose descendants have now acquired non Cypriot identities.

The village has its origins in the middle ages and its name is thought to be a corruption of that of Joanna D'Aleman, the mistress of Pierre de Lusignan (1359 - 1369), the King of Cyprus. It is thought that her summer residence was located near the current church. Fragments of pottery dating to the period of Lusignan rule (1192- 1489) have indeed been found in the vicinity, as well as fragments of Majolica representing the subsequent Venetian domination of Cyprus.(1489-1571).

The Lusignans themselves acquired the island following its sale to the Knights Templar by Richard I of England. As can be readily seen the history of Cyprus consists of wave after wave of foreign occupiers stretching back over millennia.

The late 1970's witnessed the onset of a new wave, not armed soldiers this time, but of individuals of many different nationalities each seeking their little paradise. For Lemona the first foreign resident was ironically once more another French woman, now deceased, who bought and restored the old priory in the village. She has subsequently been followed by other Europeans, most notably British, who have bought and restored the hitherto derelict properties- this in itself has had a knock-on effect encouraging local Cypriots to return and renovate their long neglected heritage.


The Tsangarides winery is situated in the heart of Lemona since forever (their  Great Great Grandfather generation). Today acclaimed as one of the best examples of a boutique winery of the island.

In September 2015 the winery was expanding its basement adding many more massive stainless steel tanks to its wine production. Guests to the soiree were asked to enter through these tanks, walk past them before entering a second room filled with oak barrels and storage of bottled wine. It is in this long room that the choreographed meal took place, a place familiar for wine to wine tasters but nerveless a cellar. Perhaps because the night of the event was dark and raining hard, the entrance was in the basement, and the ceremony of being guided into the room one-by-one by masked people, all this lead to an air of mysteriousness and “supernatural”…in which only the courageous ventured (one couple left before being escorted inside).

Dinner was served with guests aligned on benches 10 metre long sitting back-to-back and a personal sheep-waiter was assigned to every two guests.

Special cocktail one-hand plates were given with a notch in one end to securely rest their wine glass, so that one hand was free to walk about and mingle while eating and drinking. Wine glasses were filled continuously, plates were changed for desert, and plates were cleared for dancing. The staff were familiarized with the steps having rehearsed the dance, and the evening ended with everybody dancing among each other and themselves. 


Documenting the soiree

Three static video cameras recording the whole proceedings from three angles, all connecting to a mixer where a producer was compiling a fourth video in real time. A photographer was also instructed to document the evening.

The piece exhibited in the empty school of Lemona.

The school of village closed in 1987.  Occasionally a visiting doctor uses an empty school room. The soiree will be recreated via video-projections, along with documentary videos of the  Lemona inhabitants so that viewers can get an inside view of the Lemona village community.