Heidi Trautmann

139 - Ismet Tatar at the International Exhibition "The Future in Paper" in France


Cypriot Turkish Artist Ismet Tatar at the International Exhibition

“The Future in Paper - One World – A Multitude of Paper”

May 8 – 22, 2010 in Le Vigan in Southern France


In the winter months of 2009, Ismet Tatar was invited to participate in the above highly regarded exhibition after having been selected by the international jury members of the organising associations Paperweight and Chaîne de Papier. Among the jury members were renowned artists such as Helene Tschacher from Germany, Susan Cutts from England, Charmian Pollok from Scotland and Jan Fairbairn-Edwards from France.

For some years now, Ismet Tatar has been passionately preoccupied with “paper art” using all her imagination and talent. Being a member of IAPMA (International Association of Paper Making Artists) she has, over the last years, visited many IAPMA conferences where she has met an ever growing number of artist members and gained information on the wide, practically limitless fields of application. As the experimental spirit of an artist, and of Ismet Tatar in particular, is easily ignited by new areas, she and a group of other paper artists in North Cyprus, plunged together into this exciting field of paper-making, to use it as a basic material to express new ways of art. With Inci Kansu as the first paper artist in North Cyprus - we remember her art project of many years’ research “Copper Tunnel”  – some other artists also joined, namely Ismet Tatar herself, Emel Samioğlu and Simge Uygur, and ideas and experiences were exchanged, discussed and researched.


This coming event in the beautiful city of Le Vigan - supported by regional governmental and academic bodies - will be opened on 7 May 2010 and will last until May 22. There will be 20 international artists from France, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland, England, Austria, Israel, Australia, USA, Turkey and North Cyprus, displaying their creative ways of producing and using hand made paper in their art works. Every day workshops and video shows by the artists will be shown for the visiting viewers to learn more about this centuries old but newly reborn idea of making paper. On the days of 15 and 16 May, artists’ books will be exhibited and sold, an occasion to speak to the paper artists themselves.


The background theme for the artists was to use plants from their own environment, using only natural ingredients such as natural binding agents and glues. “With a multitude of artists working with paper, we should be able to develop strategies for alternative paper-making, together with concepts both practical and creative, thus attracting the interest of the public on the subject of preserving our planet.”


Ismet Tatar has prepared a video film on how she researched the project on making paper with natural plants. It is a fascinating film, giving us an idea of what is possible. For the past year, she has been experimenting with the green shells of walnut and henna. Her latest experiments were with the leaves and fibres of yellow squash and mulberry. During the processing – crushing and soaking – Ismet remembered her childhood when her grandmother used to using things from nature for the household and even for cosmetics. “Did she not use ashes for washing the linen and henna to dye her hair? Or my grandfather who added the prepared juices of prickly pear as a binding agent to the lime wash to whitewash our house.

So I tried to do the same, instead of using chemically produced glues, I prepared it the old way and added it to the fibre pulp. It is a moment of sheer excitement to scoop the pulp onto a sieve and lay out another new sheet of hand made paper onto a towel for drying. From the different plants, I obtain differently coloured sheets. Now, I can decide what shape I want the paper to have.”


The art work Ismet Tatar has prepared for France will be sent off shortly, a hanging carpet, a tapestry of the plants of her homeland North Cyprus – she has given it the title “Sacred Soil” (dimensions: 2,5 m long and 1.40 m wide);  a moment of our time in the universe, with paper as the carrier of time.

Ismet Tatar
Ismet Tatar's work "Sacred Soil"

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