By Heidi Trautmann
From an article about the first Turkish Cypriot art teacher Mevhibe Şefik written by Dr. Netice Yildiz I remember especially one sentence she must have repeated over and over again to her students, I recite here with my own words: Art is in whatever you properly do with concentration and love and by using all your senses. This is what I was thinking when I visited the exhibition “20th TRNC Photography Competition” at the V. Ismet Günay Art Centre at the end of December 2010. There were 60 works by 34 photographers on display, most of them of very good to excellent quality and technique and they were well presented. I have been attending the exhibitions of the last years’ competitions and I must say it was the best presented. Why do I think that important? I tell you why: When you love what you are doing you present it well. When I have an artist’s work in front of me badly presented, although the work may be well done in itself, I know for sure that he/she is neglecting his/her own appearance as well, is careless about things in life such as friendship, respect of others, respect of environment.
In the art scene the question often arises whether photography is art. I say it is. A good and active photographer sees what others don’t see just like artists. Art starts in the head and not at the tip of the brush.
The photographers were of all age groups, the oldest born in 1949, the youngest in 1988. They have all been involved with photography for a longer period and have participated in many competitions. Many of them I know and they can easily be recognized among the displayed works for their technique and their choice of themes. Besides the first three winners, Buket Ozatay, Giray Karahasan and Lisani Otağ, there were photographers who have been awarded many prizes in the past, renowned and recognized photographers in the international scene.
The themes chosen this year were less landscapes but human ones, faces, social aspects, macabre situations of man and nature, beauty in decay, but also built-up projects, installations. I also realized that people start travelling more because scenes other than from their own country were shown.
The participating photographers were: Altay Sayil, Buket Özatay, Çise Mısırlisoy, Devrim Yücel Besim, Ebru Uskan Akaçali, Feridun Karakartal, Giray Karahasan, Gökhan Saymaz, Gülnur Tokay, Hakan Berkay, Hakan Kaşif, Hasan Bağlar, Hasip Sepetçioglu. Lisani Otağ, Mehmet Gökyiğit, Mehmet Uluhan, Mustafa Evirgen, Mustafa Müezzinoğlu, Mustafa Tevfik Ilerli, Musa Alper Eroğlu, Nafia Akdeniz, Necla Ecem Özoğlu, Nurperi Özgener, Orkun Yetkili, Ozhan Özatay, Rauf Kürşat, Rındiye Karakartal, Saadettin Arslan, Sevket Uçan, Tevfik Ulual, Tijen Özerdağ, Umut Akçun, Veli Tuncay Kaymaklılı.
I really enjoyed what I saw and I congratulate the organizers of the competition, the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Culture, and the jury for the well succeeded exhibition.
PS: While I am writing this last sentence I just wonder why Culture is mentioned the last.