Heidi Trautmann

361 - The Voice of Paper from Sofia – Five North Cypriot artists answered



An International interdisciplinary Paper Art Festival organized by AMATERAS Foundation


By Heidi Trautmann


During the last three years, wondering about the whereabouts of our artists in the TRNC, we had to look beyond our borders, finally finding them in other European countries, taking part in important and interesting art events, art fairs and art biennales.

Just as it happened in May, the whole month of May in Sofia, Bulgaria, where five of our artists, Inci Kansu, Ismet Tatar, Emel Samioğlu, Gökçe Şekeroğlu and Eser Kececi had entered the traditional Annual Mini Paper Art competition and were chosen by a jury to take part in the exhibition during the Annual Paper Art Festival among altogether 170 works by 102 artists from 29 countries. Three of the chosen artists undertook the journey to Sofia by their own means in the middle of May to be there for the annual internationally celebrated Night of Museums and Galleries when, they were promised, Sofia would be opening their holy temples of art to the public and the locals as well as the international guests were celebrating everywhere in the city. So, Inci Kansu, Emel Samioğlu and Ismet Tatar*) spent some days in this exciting atmosphere of artists from different disciplines meeting, exchanging and discussing, working and exhibiting together, all around paper. They had a lot to tell when back in Cyprus a short while ago, full of impressions.

*) For Ismet Tatar it is already the second year of participation in the festival; in 2011 she was given an honorary award for her work.

It is an international forum working together to make this May event become reality within the five sections of the Paper Art Festival, the organizer of which is the Amateras Foundation founded by two artists: paper artist Daniela Todorova and sculptor Todor Todorov. The five sections are: The Mini paper art exhibition; the Sofia International Part Art Biennale; Students Paper Art Project, Sofia International Green Architecture Biennale and Sofia Panel Discussions on Paper. Around these five sections and its events and exhibitions were partner activities such as music and theatre performances displaying paper costumes and puppet theatre;  alongside went two separate paper art exhibitions, the one related to the world of theatre, the other being an art show by Japanese paper artists.

PAPER, the carrier of time and culture, the most important invention by humans as a means of communication and concern, has for the last two decades become more and more a global-wide form of art with the philosophy of harmony in nature. Our artists told me that it is quite common, but not the rule, among paper artists to produce their own paper from plants but also  from newspapers, books, old telephone books, etc. and not to use any chemicals but natural binders.  I remember the IAPMA (International Association of Paper Making Artists) paper art event in Nicosia at the Near East University last year, when I could observe the participants gather all kinds of plants that were new to them.

The IAPMA members are to be found all around the world, and so is the founder of AMATERAS, Daniela Todorova, one of their members.  One of the main aims of the festival was to show the different aspects of paper and the artistic potential in two- and three-dimensional installations and the interpretation by others than paper artists, in the fields of theatre, architecture, fashion, drama and design. Another important aspect of the festival was education, students being invited to workshops, their work displayed and also the project of creating partners in art schools and faculties to include the coming paper art form in their educational programmes.

The venues for the many exhibitions were plentiful, all the museums and galleries, art halls, parks for the outdoor sculptures; our artists had a lot of new experience and pleasure when visiting all the places and talking to the many artists, part of them they knew already from exhibitions in other countries, especially on the LONG MUSEUM NIGHT when the streets resounded with music and performances all night long and the Bulgarian people showed their hospitality and interest in the artists’ works.

Our artists were deeply impressed and very grateful to AMATERAS to have had the chance to compare their own ideas with those of important well known artists of the whole world.


On my website www.heiditrautmann.com  I will continue my tale about the successful march of Paper Art and also with some more photos.

Emel Samioglu, Inci Kansu and Ismet Tatar in Sofia
Emel Samioglu, Inci Kansu and Ismet Tatar in Sofia

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