Heidi Trautmann

641 - Open Air Museum of TRNC Contemporary Art on the Highway from Kyrenia to Nicosia

Or: If the mountain won’t come to Muhammad, Muhammad must go to the mountain


By Heidi Trautmann


An art project initiated by the two institutions ARTTERAPI and EMAA; behind the first one is Bahar Ciralı, a fine artist with an art centre in Kyrenia and EMAA is our art association, the president of which is Zehra Şonya, a sculptor and activist. The art project is based on the worldwide activity ‘Let’s colour our country’ in this case ‘Let’s colour North Cyprus’.

Spaces on walls of buildings are painted in bright colours with donations made by local companies and institutions, you can get the idea when you look up their website ‘Let’s colourproject.com’, a worldwide movement to create better living conditions.


The idea in North Cyprus is to fill the walls along the highway leading from Kyrenia to Lefkoşa with art works by local artists. Years ago, a retired army officer and painter had already covered the walls with Cypriot symbols, carpets and flowers, but these had faded over the years.

Why not use the empty space again to establish an open air art museum since we don’t have one in Northern Cyprus, the treasures of our artists are hidden in the corridors and cellars of the Parliament.

Artists were invited to hand in a draft in April and on May 04, that is a Sunday, the artists will transpose their concept onto the walls whitewashed by one of the sponsors, Tayf  Marshall. Each artist participating will have a space available of 10x 1.50-2m. The artists participating are our crème de la crème, here mentioned by name: Batu Gündal, Bahar Ciralı, Emel Samioğlu, Ayça AKARCANAyca Akarcan,  Erman Karagöz, Feryal Sukan, Gönen Atakol, Gökçe Keceçi, Hüseyin Özinal, Inci Kansu, Ipek Karagöz, Ismet Tatar, Mustafa Hastürk, Nilgün Güney, Osman Keten, Salih Oral, Salih Mustafa Çizel, Sinem Ertaner, Şenol Özdevrim, Şifa Alkapon, Uğur Bahceçi, Umay Erol Kutay, Ülviye Karabaşak, Zehra Şonya, Bedia Kale, Özge Ertanin, Salih Bayraktar, Nurtane Karagil, Musa Kayra, Derviş Nihad, Halil Ozankaya, Ozan Özgenler, Serken Ilseven, Sibel Kemal Uzun, Tanju Aykol, Taylan Öguzkan, Türksal Ince, Zühre Özkaraman.Ayça AKARCAN, Bahar ÇIRALI, Batu GÜNDAL, Bedia KALE, Emel SAMİOĞLU, Derviş NİHAD, Erman KARAGÖZ, Eser KEÇECİ, Feryal SÜKAN, Gökçe KEÇECİ, Gönen ATAKOL, Hüseyin ÖZİNAL, Halil OZANKAYA, İnci KANSU, İpek Denizli KARAGÖZ, İsmet TATAR, Kemal Behçet CAYMAZ, Musa KAYRA, Mustafa HASTÜRK, Nilgün GÜNEY, Nurtane KARAGİL, Osman KETEN, Ozan ÖZGENLER, Özge ERTANIN, Salih Mustafa ÇİZEL, Salih ORAL, Serkan İLSEVEN, Sibel Kemal UZUN, Sinem ERTANER, Şifa ALKAPON, Tanju AKYOL, Taylan OĞUZKAN, Türksal İNCE, Uğur BAHÇECİ, Ülviye KARABAŞAK, Zehra ŞONYA, Zühre ÖZKARAMAN

The sponsors are Tayf/Marshall to provide the material to the artists; TL 200 for each artist, 10 liter of paint in all shades, T-Shirt, and so forth.

The Girne Municipality, to make work possible, such as clearing the space, providing tables and chairs for the artists who will be painting the walls as from May 04; organising meals;

The Highway Control will provide security by regulating the traffic.

There will be a final thank you dinner organised by the Girne Municipality.


We will then be able to admire our artists work on public walls instead of in a museum; I’ll be watching it and report back to our readers; however, I sincerely hope that there will be traffic speed reduced to 30 km to prevent accidents,  also in the future, as I can promise you, there will be some awesome art work on display.




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