Heidi Trautmann

Mar 24-May 14-Art Exhibition “Gönen Atakol – Down the Line - Retrospektive 1970 – 2014” in Famagusta

at the Rauf Denktas Culture and Congress Centre opening on March 24, 2014


By Heidi Trautmann


“Gönen Atakol has a clear sight of things, a feeling for the essence, focusing to the kernel of truth, with clean colours and forms, our gaze supported and guided by strict graphic frames, entering into another dimension. You can feel her love for her country, its colours and the marriage of earth, sea and sky. The human form, women, real women, as ink drawings with clear lines; those sketches of the 70s up to 2014, with bold spaces of colour and intimate details of design in a dress or a cushion, always respecting the laws of composition.”


This is what I wrote after the opening of her exhibition in 2013 at EMAA, the Art Association’s building in Nicosia in 2013. It was planned at that time to bring the exhibition to Famagusta on a larger scale and for a longer period to make the successful and beautiful exhibition accessible to all art lovers, researchers of art history, art students, and the public to learn more about the work of one of the leading and competent artists of Turkish Cyprus.

In the year gone by, Gönen Atakol has continued to work on new paintings and life model drawings, so we shall see the retrospective extended to 2014. It is interesting to observe the development of perception she has gone through, although she has always been true to her own way of interpretation, her own principles of life, which is a clear line; and thus I interpret the title given by the curator: ‘Down the Line’. Drawing ‘lines’ is a difficult task, but also a most comprehensive one as it contains all knowledge about art, about composition and reality, about the pure and essential.


The project is a cooperation of EMAA, European Mediterranean Art Association, and EMU, Eastern Mediterranean University, Centre for Cyprus Studies; the curator is Dr. Esra Plümer, art historian and lecturer at Nottingham University, living in London but often coming to Cyprus to see her family.  I have met her two years ago for an interesting interview and it is exciting to hear that she is coming for the opening of the exhibition. Zehra Şonya has taken on the job as assistant curator and coordinator locally.   


Gönen was born in Nicosia in 1945. After her marriage to Kenan Atakol, they both went to Pennsylvania where her husband was teaching at the State University. She started her art studies there and – as she told me – she was amazed and delighted to find education for the students to develop freely, the experience of which was the basis for her philosophy of doing art and teaching art. Art for the sake of art!  She came back to Cyprus in 1972 and started teaching at the Maarif College in Nicosia for 21 years. She continued painting after her retirement and has for the last six years joined a group of artists for model drawing;


Exhibition opening on 24 March 2014 at 19:00 hrs at

Rauf Raif Denktas Culture and Congress Centre, Big Exhibition Hall

Duration until 14 May 2014


Tel 0090 392 630 3809 / 3815

Email: hasan.haksayar@emu.edu.tr


The Centre is close to the Lions Garden, on the road to the EMU Beach Club.

Gönen at the opening of her exhibition in 2013
Gönen at the opening of her exhibition in 2013

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