Heidi Trautmann

643 - Open Air Museum of TRNC Contemporary Art established on a Sunday

By Heidi Trautmann


What a Sunday experience, all our artists old and young out in the ditches along the whitewashed walls of the highway between Kyrenia and Nicosia. I visited them all, driving within the protective zone, stopping and talking to them while they dried the sweat from their brow, some wearing the dark blue Marshall sweatshirt so they looked a bit uniform, all for one, one for all, sort of.

The elders were helped by young art students or family and friends, some - such as Salih Oral who is over eighty had not come but had handed in a draft with a scene of the Kyrenia harbour  -  other artists were busy applying their sketches on the 10 m space they have been allotted, and on many lots students were helping to fill the predesign with colour.

The artists had started at nine o’clock as Mustafa Salih Cizel was telling me who did the theme of Tulipa Cypria on his space. Cypriot symbols are much represented: amphores and the like; Aphrodite was a favourite model and generally the way of Cypriot life - There are some abstract paintings, one is by Erman Karagöz, his view of Famagusta with Venetian walls and gates, very colourful and abstract, his wife Ipek was helped by their children and they all seemed to enjoy it. Mustafa Hastürk and Hüseyin Özinal had already finished but I recognised their handwriting. Osman Keten was still busy and Musa Kayra who did a caricature, what else…from Nilgün I only saw on a later photograph how she was painted all over obviously by spraying the underground in many colours, she looked great. Şifa Alkapon’s Neptune was not to be overlooked; Batu Gündal who had done the wall of the new bookstore in Doğanköy Streetart Bookstore and Café; some of the young ones I had not met yet before,  and I was happy to meet Türksal Ince whose art I knew but not himself. Serken Ilseven explained to me the theme of his painting – his wife was helping him – “there was a time when Cyprus was full of birds, today in our gardens we don’t find but magpies and crows and in the near future we will not have any left. What will become of us”….Nurtane Karagil with her usually blue hair was also covering the walls furiously, not to forget Bedia Kale, the always creative and active artist and representative of the Cultural Directorate. Gökçe Keçeci Şekeroğlu with her graphic images of Cyprus and helped by her sister Eser: the flight of birds with one holding a human figure in its beck.  To some of the artists I could not talk because they were not present or had finished already.  The organisers Zehra Sonya and Bahar Cirali were watching and controlling the entire event, helping here and there, advising, doing their own artwork at the same time. Özgül Ezgin also used the brush but mostly her camera to document the event.

All the paintings have a number painted on the right side of them and you will be able to recognise the artist if you check it with the list of artists I am attaching. Number Zero seems to be done by the artists present with their hands dipped into paint and pressed onto the wall.

Cars from Marshall were continuously passing the long line of artists working in the ditches, delivering paint, food and drinks and words of encouragement as I could hear. It is an extremely fruitful idea to get the artists under one hat with a project such as this and I enjoyed it just as much as if I had participated myself.

Somewhere along the line there should be a mention of  “Openair Museum Cyprus”…..  Ha…I discovered it one day later when I passed again, just right at the beginning when you come from Nicosia, there it is ‘ACIK MÜSE’.

I’ll put in an application to the Municipality to have a sort of Open Sunday to come to the Acik Müse/Openair Museum to study the work done with leisure, what do you think?

List of Wall Paintings - coming from Lefkosa to Girne:

36 – Gönen Atakol

35 – Feryal Sukan

34 - Salih Çizel

33 - Uğur Bahçesi

32 – Nurtane Karagil

31-  Ayça Akarcan

30 – Zühre Özkaraman

29 – Halis Derviş

28 - Musa Kayra

27 – Kemal Behçet

26 – Eser Keçeci

25 – Gökçe Şekeroğlu

24-  Şifa Alkapon

23-  Batu Gündal

22-  Ülviye Karabaşak

21-  Sibel Kemal Uzun

20 – Ozan Özgenler

19 – Bedia Kale


17 – Nilgün Güney

16 – Türksel İnce

15 – Taylan Okuzkan

14 – Salih Oral

13 – Osman Keten

12 – Hüseyin Özinal

11-  Serkan İlkseven

10 – Mustafa Hastürk

  9 – Tanju Akyol

  8 – Sinem Ertane

  7-  Zehra Şonya

  6-  İsmet Tatar

  5-  Emel Samioğlu

  4-  İnci Kansu

  3 – Bahar Çıralı

  2-  Erman Karagöz

  1 - İpek Denizli Karagöz



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