Stored away in the corridors of Parliamentary and many other Governmental buildings or in safety holds are many works by our North Cypriot artists, held since the beginning of self determination in North Cyprus. Due to lack of space it has so far not been possible to display these art works to the public in a suitable place.
In November 2005 a first part of an old warehouse behind the Küçük Kaymaklı Post Office was – with the help of Turkish funds – beautifully renovated by the Cultural Department and opened as a multipurpose art centre. The centre was named after the first Turkish Cypriot artist, painter and cartoonist, Ismet V. Güney, who is best known as the designer of the original Cypriot flag and emblem. There have already been many exhibitions, meetings and lectures on art since the official opening. When the need for more space became obvious, two adjacent big rooms were renovated as a secondary measure so that we now have available three beautiful rooms. At the beginning of 2009, the Cultural Department decided to bring the collected art works out of the holds for display in this gallery in two stages. The first was to display the works in 2009 of those artists born in 1950 and before and as the second step, it is planned to show the collected works of artists born after 1950 in 2010.
On 11 May 2009 the first exhibition was opened with 46 works by 22 artists and 2 sculptors to be on display until the end of December, with the exception of the school summer holidays. I took some friends to this exhibition to see for myself the original paintings; I knew them from catalogues or photos given to me by the artists, artists whom I encountered during the interviews I conducted from 2005 to 2008 and which will have yet to be published this year in a beautiful edition “Art and Creativity in North Cyprus, Volume I”.
The artists are, in the order of the list of exhibition:
Ismet Vehit Güney, Ali Atakan, Cevdet Çağdas, Yilmaz H. Hakeri, Aylin Örek, Türksal Ince, Hikmet Uluçam, Inci Kansu, Özden Selenge, Emel Samioğlu, Salih Bayraktar, Günay Güzelgün, Emin Çizenel, Salih Oral, Gönen Atakol, Güner Pir, Ismet Tatar, Göral Özkan, Ayhan Menteş, Feridun Işıman, Olga Rauf.
The two sculptors are: Şinasi Tekman and Baki Boğaç.
I very much appreciated seeing the original art works and so did my friends, former retired German Ambassador Hartmut Blankenstein and his wife Heidi, a journalist, and we are very grateful to the Cultural Department to have opened the doors of the art centre for us during the school holidays. I do strongly recommend that everybody living here, especially students and school children, go to see the exhibition of the TRNC art collection as it provides a better understanding of the culture of this country.
Viewing times will be as from September 1
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 10.30 – 12.30
Monday, Thursday: 10.00 – 12.30 and 16.00 – 18.00
Saturday: 10.00 – 13.00