By Heidi Trautmann
On the evening of November 3 the cold and wet weather had just stopped in time for the opening of the art event organized by Anglo Turkish Association at Bellapais Abbey, where the art works of 33 artists – painting and photography - are on display just for four days.
Paintings by: Laurie Briggs, Margaret Bosworth, James Bromfield, Ann Lawrence, Liz Ahmet, Tulay Gürzap, Marilyn Adams, Sheila Davis, Semin Azad, Jean Howells, Auriana Stevens, Bella Aleksandrova, Maxene Shailer, Penny Smith, John Marsh, Jan Quayle, Bryan Hill, Irene Hill, Gülseven Owen, Pam Schofield, Michael Raine, Tim Francis, Bill Gilman, Svetlana Ziusina, Susan Dalgarno, and the photographs by: Dave Todd, Gülnur Tokay, Cemal Okur, Tevfik Ulual, Fergün Ulual, Mustafa Evirgen.
There was a very special guest to open the exhibition – Emel Samioğlu – one of our best artists here in North Cyprus. What an honour. I am sure that Laurie Briggs and Metin Ibrahimar from ATA were quite aware of it when they invited her to speak the magic opening words and cut the ribbon.
Laurie Briggs is an artist himself, not only as a wood carver, we have seen his work the year before when there was the exhibition for art handicraft in the same venue and I think that he is the right man to organize such events. He has some oil paintings on display too this year. I am amazed. The idea, he says, is to bring Cypriot Turkish artists and artists of other nationalities living in North Cyprus to exhibit together, perhaps work together. There have developed friendships doing joint exhibitions together. I think there should be more of this kind of cooperation.
Some artists have joined the ATA team to hang the pictures which is not an easy task as you have to consider the size and colours of the individual pictures to avoid dominance. 103 works is quite a number but the walls of the crypt can easily take them without looking overcrowded.
A big variety of styles was on display, hardly any abstracted art, rather impressionistic, even nouveau art. Quiet art, often peaceful. Images of what the painter sees, accurately painted landscapes - always a favourite is the abbey - in different seasons and media. Many still lives in the old nature book style. There were some naïve paintings, professionally done. A few story telling paintings. Professionals mingled with amateurs, passionate amateurs. Many water colours were present, some oil colours, some acrylic, pastel and pencil. Many of the artists I know and often I was pleased to see the development they have gone through since last I saw their work. I appreciate experimenting, a bit more daring work I would have liked to see.
I liked the photographs, some of them leaning towards art, art photography, an art form which becomes more and more important in fine arts.
Unfortunately, the exhibition is only until November 6. Which is tomorrow. So hurry, If you want to know more about the artists in our communities, there are some rather good ones among them. Usually the opening times are from 10:00 to 17:00.