Arts & Culture The Expat Issue

The Greek man in love with Oman

Kostis Grivakis in his workshop in Crete, Greece.

What does it take to fall in love? For Konstantinos Grivakis all it took was one look. The 46-year-young Greek national knew Oman was ‘the one’ when he first stepped foot on the sultanate last July.

‘I’ve travelled all over the world from the States to Scandinavia and from Tunisia to China. I’ve never been to a place like Oman. I never ever remember myself saying: “this is the place I want to grow old in”’, says the artist and art teacher passionately as he chats from his small but cosy workshop on the Greek island of Crete.

Dozens of hand-painted wooden figures of Omani-looking men and women adorn its shelves . A model of the Muscat Fish Market rests on a table. It’s clear that Konstantinos has been quite busy ever since he came back from his life-changing holiday.

‘It’s not right to ask me what inspired me to start making the wooden figures when you already know the answer‘, he says when we ask. ‘How can you not be inspired by Oman and its people?’

The figures, all made of recycled materials or materials left over from construction sites, are in high demand.

‘Lots of people bought my Omani wooden figures, including Greeks and tourists from Austria and Holland. I’ve also shipped 35 already to international customers and I have orders for at least 50 more’.

Tens of hand-painted wooden figures inspired by Omanis adorn Kostis’s workshop shelves.

As for the orders placed by Omani customers, Konstantinos will personally be delivering them when he returns to Oman this month. Only this time, he won’t just be coming for a short holiday; he’ll be on the hunt for a job as an art teacher so that he can fulfill his dream of growing old there.

To see more of Konstantinos’s artwork visit his page on Facebook: Art Workshops in Muscat.

Sekka Editorial.