Mother Willow with hands made of fairy dust, Popi is a creatress of different kind. Not only is she a painter but she is also highly gifted in leather crafting. Her work with leather, shells and stones that she collects herself ranges from jewellery making to sculpting and frame-making. In her own handcrafts shop called Moondance, Popi sells clothing, accessories and jewellery. The first time I entered her little treasure-house, I noted a certain ancient, shamanic atmosphere lingering in the air. The shop smelled of incense and Popi’s authentic, compassionate smile enchanted me straight away. Her stories tell of freedom and of life as a free spirit; this creatress started her journey as jewellery maker in 1989 when the laws in Nicosia weren’t so strict and when she was free to travel around with her big suitcase filled with handmade treasures.
“I used to sell my things in the streets without any problems back in the days. At one point, around 2005, Cyprus went through a change and authorities adopted a consumerist mindset and started slowly eliminating small, local businesses or simply replaced them with shops of high street businesses.”
Once her troubles as an independent artist started, Popi decided that Nicosia wasn’t her place anymore and sailed off to the Greek islands to look for new opportunities and new inspirations. “Moondance at that time was just an art studio. I locked it, took my things and left Cyprus. I travelled around Paros, Corfu, Crete and eventually Icaria which is my favourite place. ” In Icaria, Popi resided in a village called Raches where she volunteered and lived with a self-sustainable community.
Whenever I pass by Popi’s shop, she always helps me find the most beautiful and enriching jewellery. On the cosy porch of Moondance, Popi and I like to share stories of spirituality, fate and travels. The creatress tells me of her hitchhiking adventures in Greece and the people she met and connected with at the time. “Greece is very different from Cyprus. While they called me a gypsy here, in Greece all the people I’ve met had my kind of lifestyle. Unfortunately I had to come back for personal and professional reasons.”
Popi’s little treasure-house is located on 72, Odos Solonos, a small parallel street to Ledras and opposite the Nomadic State of Mind shoe shop.