is by mere chance that I learnt of the visit of the twelve artists from the
Kuwait Arts Association who had arrived on April 24 and were staying at the
Dome Hotel in Kyrenia. I went to see them there where they have been given a
room to work in with a nice sea view. The room looked like a studio with
intensive work done, huge canvasses mostly finished and tables laden with
paints and brushes. I was introduced to Abdul Rasoul Salman, the President of
Kuwait Arts Association and also President of the Union of Arab Art by a
representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and their guide for the time
of their stay.
learnt that the group had been invited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at
the suggestion of Oktay Öztürk, Ambassador and Director of the Organisation of
Islamic Cooperation Affairs whom I met personally a day later, on the occasion of the final reception and
exhibition of the Kuwait Arts Association and its members. The Undersecretary
Mr. Erhan Erçin welcomed the guests and recounted the story that was preceding
the visit of the Arts Association. It was the visit of our TRNC photographer Hüseyin
Sayil at the invitation of the same Arts Association in November 2013 and exhibition
of photos of our country. See the article of Arab Times 19 Nov. 2013 on the
members of the group told me that they had a lovely time in Cyprus and were
admiring its culture and beauty. They
have met with EMAA European Mediterranean Arts Association who accompanied them
on some events.
paintings done in such a very short time - one artist told me that she had been
working the night through - were exhibited in the hall of the Ministry and were
then donated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a gesture of friendship. I
had seen the paintings in the process of last touches with the brush and I must
say there were very good art works; I will show them all on my website, the
culture page of our newspaper is by far too restricted for them all. Also the
President Abdul Rasoul Salman - the members call him Papa – showed me his work
which I liked very much. The works of the other participants of this workshop –
there were no artists from the TRNC to share the experience, I wonder why –
were very good – a different approach and interesting for me to see. I visited the
Art Association’s website, they are very active and have a nice museum of
contemporary art, I recognised with great envy.
Erçin thanked the artists for the donation and cooperation and said: “You help
us to overcome the pain of embargoes and restrictions with your visit.”
Salman thanked all those who have made their stay a pleasant one and hoped to
continue the exchange of art and friendship.
lady artist, Hanouf Almonaifi, who stayed on a few days longer was visiting the
Thursday Art Group in Yesiltepe on last Thursday for a life drawing session. She
brought a huge cake with her and we sat with her after work was done and exchanged
experiences. She had also been visiting the artist Güner Pir whose work she
admired much. When she met Gönen Atakol at our Thursday meeting she was
thrilled to meet the artist whose exhibition in Famagusta she and her art
association was able to see.
is what art is about: to come together and share; sitting with an artist from
Kuwait eating her cake, we were one South African, two Turkish Cypriots, two
British, one Norwegian and one German, and our model was a Nigerian student. It
was the 1st of May 2014.