Heidi Trautmann

May 17 - 24 : MITEROLOJI – SCULPTURES BY Erol Refikoğlu


The well-known actor finally shows his collection of over 30 sculptures of mythology at the Ismet Güney Art Centre in Nicosia from May 17 - 27


By Heidi Trautmann


Erol Refikoğlu lives in Kyrenia near the Mosque. When I visited him for the first time three years ago he was working on this series of sculptures from clay.


Excerpt from my interview: ….The door of the house is open, a house in the Mosque road in Kyrenia, I knock to make my arrival known and call out: Erol Refikoğlu! And there he comes in from the terrace, his hands held high full of ….clay as I can see as he approaches. He was working on a sculpture. A sculpture of clay - Aphrodite coming out of a shell. There are two other mythology manifests in clay, one dry, the other still fresh and half wet: Prometheus bound to a rock with the eagle coming from above for his liver and Tantalus desperate about the rock he cannot bring up the hill. “…but I will not leave my sculptures in the niche of old Greek legends, I will add something to bring it into clear relation of today, for example our flags..” and while he explains it to me, he touches the soft hip of Aphrodite to be.

We talk about working with clay, he will fire it in the studios of Dizayn 74. I never expected to find an actor, an actor of his standing doing sculptures. “You remember the big masks in our theatre? The masks representing Drama and Comedy? I made them.” Oh well, sure, I do remember them well. Have I not taken pictures of them, lately? There is one which reminds me of Osman Alkaş; weird when I saw the masks removed altogether into the vestibule of the theatre when a new play was on stage. “I made them from styro foam, just as I have made many props as long as I can think; I did costumes as well, I stitched them together after my own design. I know how to sew, how should I not. When as an actor you are involved in theatre as I am you are involved with it up to your teeth, devoted to it body and soul, and that means that you have to know and do all the work involved, even sell tickets and scrub the floor.” 

Now, being retired would you not like to travel, see other places? “Oh no, what for, I would only be homesick, No, I could never go away from here, from theatre, from home. I have enough other things to do besides theatre, there is my writing short stories, I have new ideas for a second book.” Erol Refikoğlu has published his first book ‘Sade Suya Öyküler’ which means ‘Stories in Pure Water’,  stories which reflect Cyprus and its people, images he has been collecting in his passion to observe people, to sit with them and talk and listen, to enjoy life with them, enjoying a good meal with friends, playing the Saz. In these social moments is a sort of researching human behaviour, gestures which he might use on stage, collecting moment.

“I am also planning to do an exhibition of sculptures, altogether about 20 pieces, I am still thinking of a title for it. And, I love walking in the mountains and I love fishing, a good time to clear your mind, a good time to think things over.” ….


So, he has now finished the series he had in mind and he has written the stories to it in a book he will also present at the same occasion, his view of the world yesterday and today. I promise you, there is a lot to read in those sculptures, a lot of ironic interpretations, no wonder, it comes from an actor who has observed the world, as a theatreman on stage and off stage.


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