By Heidi Trautmann
Ceyhan Özyıldız, a name perhaps meaning …born under a personal star….I believe it when I read his short stories or poems, painted thoughts. And I believe him when he says ‘I cannot decide what media to use to express my feelings to meet a moment of experience…’ He is fluent in all three of them, writing, photography and graphic art work.
Ceyhan was born in 1973 in Nicosia; he studied library science, a beautiful discipline, and in that function I met him first, I had met him at the National Library. He is the Publishing and Public Relations Officer for the Cultural Department and thus also a member of the editorial board for the cultural magazine DEFNE published by the Cultural Department.
Between 2006-2009 Ceyhan Özyıldız wrote articles on art/culture and photography for the Halkın Sesi newspaper. He has won various awards in poetry, short story and photography; his prose was published in newspapers and journals such as Notos Öykü (Turkey), Halkın Sesi, Yeni Pygmalion, Nea Ebohi (South Cyprus), Turnalar, Çağrı and Defne.
I took notice of his art photography in photo competitions organized by Buket Özatay. And here, with this new book of his, published in 2012 by Işik Kitabevi, I could appreciate his writing which is, as I said, painted thoughts, to accompany his beautiful thoughtful photographs….
Excerpt from ‘All that I have accumulated’….
In this street where rusted waters pass;
an old house with dead owners, the beheaded bird
at its corner. I sit on a chair riddled with holes,
upholstery torn with a knife. The past remembered
in the scent of a perfume, a strand of hair,
the laugh of a young girl, a bashful glance,
still bleeds over and over again,
what flows from that wound that never heals;
all that accumulates within me, I spit.
Photo scenes Ceyhan has discovered by roaming the streets, back streets, forgotten villages, with people living in the shadows of the past, forgotten handicrafts; the knife smith Ali, the shoemaker Arif Usta, old Emine in Hamitköy, but also children that seem to be old and with knowing eyes. The texture of the walls gone over into the texture of human skin. Beauty in the decay.
The book is available at Işık Bookstore in Nicosia – between Kyrenia Gate and Saray Hotel in one of the sidestreets. He has published another book ‘Dried Rose Coloured Pillow Book’.