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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 8 November 2014
SATURDAY 8 NOVEMBER 2014 19 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT A new book by Yusuf Islam, better known as Cat Stevens, is now out in the Middle East entitled Why I Still Carry a Guitar: The Spiritual Journey of Cat Stevens to Yusuf. The tome, in which the Dubai-based artist explains his conversion to Islam in 1977 and how it has shaped his life to the present day, is expected to be published worldwide next year, and to help shed some light on the true nature of the Cat. Being misunderstood has been a constant in the singer's life, he told The Australian recently, since he abandoned his career as a singer-songwriter in the 1970s to concentrate on his faith and humanitarian issues. That frustration of being misunderstood is also felt on Yusuf's new album Tell 'Em I'm Gone, released on 31 October. "It's about being misunderstood oftentimes. Not always on purpose, but in the middle of what is said and what is heard and what is conveyed there is a whole lot of space there for people to get it wrong, not always intentionally," Yusuf told The Australian. Born Steven Demetre Georgiou to a Greek father and Swedish mother in 1948, Yusuf grew up in the bustling streets of London's theatre district and got his earliest music education standing on the rooftop of the family home above their restaurant listening to the show tunes. Later, in his teens and early 20s, his skills as a songwriter and performer began to develop in local coffee houses. After being discovered in the mid- '60s, hits such as I Love My Dog, Matthew and Son and I'm Gonna Get Me a Gun gave him his first wave of success. In his new album, Yusuf looks back at civilisations. "Everybody believes that the civilisation they are living in is the best. It's not really much different in some ways to previous civilisations. There are great developments and inventions, and then suddenly it all goes wrong. The plug of history gets pulled. And then everybody starts falling down the drain. I was reading that one of the last things to disappear in a civilisation is music. I'm trying to bring a bit more civilisation back into the music business." After his European and US tours, Yusuf is hoping to come to Australia again, but no dates have been set. "We'd love to bring it to Australia. I have relations in Australia so I always feel very at home there." Cat Stevens/ Yusuf album Tell 'Em I'm Gone is now out through Sony. Yusuf releases new album British pop legend Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens. PHOTO: ROL AND MAGUNIA/ GETTY IMAGES. The new album by Cat Stevens, a.k.a. Yusuf Islam, Tell 'Em I'm Gone, carries the singer's frustrations of being misunderstood New works by artist Tina Smyrnios, exploring photographic and drawing processes to create images of both fragile beauty and strong confrontation, will be featured in Smyrnios' first solo exhibition with Anna Pappas Gallery. Through experimentation of materials and surfaces, Smyrnios has constructed images that recall pain, frailty and destruction, while allowing an unexpected radiance to break through the darkness. The physical surface of paper works is violated with tools such as scrapers, burnishers and sandpaper, creating an almost sculptural feel that invokes the materiality of stretched skin or a dark sky, while photographs are manipulated to stress a level of tension and vulnerability. These strong physical compositions are fragmented by fragility that belies a contradiction of content and image. Smyrnios' work has been exhibited widely across Australian institutions and is held in various collections including the Benalla Art Gallery, RMIT, the Print Council of Australia and Swan Hill Art Gallery. The exhibition is on until 29 November, at Anna Pappas Gallery, 2-4 Carlton Street, Prahran, Tuesday to Friday, 10.00 am to 5.00 pm, Saturday 11.00 am to 5.00 pm. For more information visit annapappasgallery.com Smyrnios to exhibit at Anna Pappas Gallery Tina Smyrnios, Referential 4 (2012- 2013). As part of the exhibition 'EIKON: Icons of the Orthodox Christian World' currently on display at the Art Gallery of Ballarat, an Icons and Portraits Concert will be held, featuring Greek Australian musician Nick Tsiavos on double bass and Adam Simmons on woodwinds. The duo will pay homage to the ancient and sacred beauty of the icons, while casting a critical, modernist gaze upon them. Nick and Adam have been performing together for a number of years, most recently performing as part of Nick's ensemble at Dark MOFO in St David's Cathedral, Hobart, to packed houses and standing ovations. The concert will be held on Thursday 13 November, at 7.30 pm, at the Oddie Gallery, Ballarat. For tickets, contact the Art Gallery of Ballarat 03 5320 5858 or visit http://bit.ly/1x4h5so Tsiavos pays homage to Orthodox icons "I have no inspiration in England. In Greece I get inspired because there are stories and people I love, it is never quiet, there is always action," the writer of the best seller The Island, Victoria Hislop, told ANA- MPA on the sidelines of the six-day Art Links exhibition recently held in Athens. The British writer, who is living in Athens, said that "people living in London are afraid every day. I am not afraid in Patissia where I live." At a query on the return of the Parthenon Marbles, Hislop noted that 'the matter is complicated and not easy at all'. "When I visit the British Museum and see the marbles and thousands of people admiring them and afterwards I visit the Acropolis Museum in Athens and see only a few visitors, I think that, in the British Museum, the marbles may work as a promotion for Greece and a reason to visit the country. "From an emotional point of view, I believe they should return home, but every time I discuss this issue with the director of the British Museum, he expresses his concern over the other exhibits of the museum in case other countries follow Greece's example," Hislop said. Victoria Hislop: Greece inspires me In love with Greece: Victoria Hislop. With locals in Greece.
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