Meet the Artist

16 Apr 2022

Meet the Artist: Judy Shirley

In this new post series, we will be introducing you each month to an artist whose paintings can be found at the CVAR.

These artists were professionals or amateurs who visited the island from the 1800s to the 1960s. They all depicted various landscapes and scenes that represented Cyprus as they experienced it during their visit.

It is remarkable that many of these artists had chosen Cyprus as their home and stayed on the island for several years.

Our artist for this blog post is Judy Findley, who many might know as Judy Shirley. An article in the New York Times by Steven V. Roberts, published in 15 December, 1974 described Judy as ‘one of the top British singers of the World War II era’. Judy was an actress and she was married to Roy Findley, also an actor.

How did Judy end up in Cyprus and what was she doing on the island?

According to the New York Times, during World War II, and within a 14-month period, Judy performed 1700 shows for troops around the Mediterranean. In 1951 she decided to retire and together with her husband, who was then a military officer, bought a tea shop in Kyrenia harbour which they converted into a pub.

Judy, who liked cooking, was serving her specialities to Brits and locals. The pub prospered, and in a few years the ‘Harbour Club’ was the place to be, until its closure in July 1974. Even the Governor Sir Hugh Foot in the late 1950s celebrated his birthday there.

In the CVAR’s collection there is one painting by Judy Findley, depicting a typical scene from a Cypriot coffee shop. The painting is naïve as regards the technique; however, it gives the impression that the coffee shop is transformed into a theatrical scene with each protagonist performing a role.

You can find videos of Judy Shirley on You Tube and enjoy her magical voice!

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