Heidi Trautmann

939: Reflections on my two exhibitions in April and September 2017 in Famagusta and Nicosia

Reflections by HEIDI TRAUTMANN on her Art Exhibition at ISMET V. GÜNEY ART CENTRE IN NICOSIA in April and September 2017 in Famagusta and Nicosia


It was on the occasion of the International Day of the Arts on April 15, 2017 that Heidi Trautmann’s  exhibition was opened in Famagusta at the R. R. Denktaş Culture and Congress Centre under the auspices of the EMU Centre for Cyprus Studies, Dr. Naciye Doratli, by the Eastern Mediterranean University, Rector, Prof. Dr. Necdet Osam, and by our Art Association EMAA (European Mediterranean Art Association), President Zehra Şonya.


A second show had been planned to take place in Nicosia between 20-30 September, 2017, at the Ismet V. Güney Art Centre, especially for those who could not undertake the journey to Famagusta.

Now at the end of it, Heidi Trautmann wants to summarise her reflections on the two events:


With my work I want to draw the attention to people’s life, their individuality and daily problems and I believe that the truth comes out better with fast sketches, by catching the moment of a movement or a mood of the model sitting for us and adding to the background a graphic interpretation of either political or social happenings of the day, and often the drawings come along as a rather overdrawn image of the character. I use many different techniques in order to express my view of the situation, including my morning Turkish coffee which I poured onto a sheet of glass for a print. Lines is what I use mostly, be it charcoal or ink, marker or pencil on sheets that were prepared as monoprints, paper collages or water colour washes: It is our destiny that we all have to adapt to background conditions, thus have my drawn figures to adapt.


My most important task has always been to support the arts because I believe in the power of all art disciplines, be it visual arts, literature or theatre and I regard the arts as the most important tool in education as it teaches people to use their senses fully; here I repeat some of my words of my opening speech in Famagusta for the International Day of the Arts:

Many people ask, what is art? What does it stand for? Is it part of interior design…  Or a sort of philosophy? It is said that it can heal people……

For me ART is LIFE, it is life under a magnifying glass, it is made by people for people; it is to understand matters of nature and humanity.

Art is as old as our globe. With the urge to express themselves, the cavemen took stones to scratch their experiences onto rocks or make designs on their pottery….or… in other periods to record historical events…. the armies of early wars took hired painters with them, explorers did. Art is a form of science, it researches things to the very bottom and uses the results in various directions; it develops the human senses and makes people see behind the curtain. Often it is not for the pleasure of our eyes.

Art has become a very important means of worldwide communication with many international art events; we have Biennales in almost all countries of the world. International Art colonies have become the fashion and artists are invited around the world for interesting art workshops. I have watched this phenomenon also here in North Cyprus, with many of our artists regularly going to such events, even to Korea, China and Japan, but we also have international art workshops on the island, I have many times written about them, and thus we get to know the artists and their work, their thinking and culture first hand.

It has always been my wish to share and to support art and artists because I believe in the science of art, to help educate young…. and old – you are never too young or too old – in our Thursday Art group we have members of much over 80 years, which I am approaching myself very fast.


The artists who give their devotion and time to teach art have my greatest respect. Art not only makes people see and trains them to use their senses fully, it makes them happy, or rather fulfilled, it gives children and adults self-confidence, keeps them away from nonsense and electronic games and false dreams.

There is still so much to see and to learn, for example what material people are made of, they carry in them the secrets of the soil they were born on, what shadows are on their souls through the daily events that are thrown in their way. It is people that make the culture of a country, all members of society are creators in one way or another and we need to respect and recognize all of them, it is a country’s language. I think this is the main purpose of making art.


DAÜ TV did a nice pre-opening film of the exhibition with Zehra Şonya speaking……

DAÜ TV / Radyo DAÜ


In Nicosia the opening of the exhibition was for me a very special event too, because many of my artist friends came from different art disciplines, art photography, literature, theatre, ceramic art, and also a group of German friends surprised me with their presence; the two halls were full with guests and I must say that I was very happy and proud of the arrangement of paintings that was done with the much appreciated help and organization of EMAA members. Outsiders may hardly believe the amount of work that is involved in the set-up of an exhibition.  I am deeply grateful to Zehra Şonya, Derya Ulubatlı, Sinem Ertaner, Esra Plümer Bardak, Toya Akpinar, Ozan Özgenler and Kemal Behcet Çaymaz, the young generation of artists and art historians that form the board of EMAA now. I am happy to see their progress in life and art activities, in taking over responsibilities for education within society and making a very important impact on its understanding of contemporary art in a problematic zone like Cyprus. 

There are more people to thank who made the two exhibitions possible. That is Prof. Dr. Naciye Doratli who heads the Centre for Cyprus Studies, and who again spoke on the occasion of the Nicosia Opening Night; there is Prof. Dr. Necdet Osam, the Rector of the Eastern Mediterranean University to whom I have to thank for the printing of my two volumes catalogue and finally there is Omid Kalantar Motamedi, Graphic designer, at Cyprus International University, who over many months collated the catalogue with me and did a precious art work on it.  Yes, and I want to mention Mine Keten who did a lovely interview with me over the space of several time zones, she was in Cyprus and I in Louisiana at that time, an interview which is published in the new issue of DEFNE, an art magazine of the Cultural Department of the Ministry of Education and Culture.


During the ten days that followed I enjoyed the visit of many people, especially several classes of the Anadolu Art School with their art teachers Ipek Denizli and Ahmet Karagöz and some days later, classes of the Atleks Sanverler Ortaokulu organized by art teacher Pembe Gaziler. I enjoyed their visit immensely. I could share my ‘wisdom’ with these young people, my philosophy of working and seeing life, of admonishing them to take nothing for granted but to explore and experiment, to experience art education as a door opener to knowledge and understanding. I told them that money in a bank account can be lost but knowledge gained by education is a capital with true values.

I am also grateful to the many people who came and looked at my paintings and sketches of life. It will be my last big exhibition and I am grateful for the time I had to be able work and to have had the opportunity to get to know the many good artists on the island of Cyprus which has become my home, our home.

Written on Oct. 07, 2017 at Eagle’s Nest in Girne



fm left: Dr. Naciye Doratli, Heidi Trautmann and Zehra Şonya
fm left: Dr. Naciye Doratli, Heidi Trautmann and Zehra Şonya

The EMAA crew - I love them
The EMAA crew - I love them

Anadolu Art School classes with their teachers
Anadolu Art School classes with their teachers

Atleks Sanverler Ortaokulu
Atleks Sanverler Ortaokulu

Pembe Gaziler and I
Pembe Gaziler and I

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