Heidi Trautmann

765 - Ayhan Menteş – Exhibition at EMAA’s Art Centre - A most passionate artist at the age of 80

By Heidi Trautmann

“Heidi”, he said when I held his hands, happy to see him so healthy and full of humour at the opening evening at EMAA’s Art Centre (European Mediterranean Art Association), “the arts for me are an inexhaustible fountain of youth, I am still working regularly and I draw my energy from it.”

He really struck a chord with me because I believe in it, the healing power of creativity, especially at an older age.  I had first met Ayhan Menteş ten years ago in his Studio and Art Gallery in Famagusta for my interview with him and have been in touch with him ever since.

He was a passionate observer of nature, collecting stones, shells and fairy tales – he used to write them down – and he realised them in his paintings and sculptures. He believes in symbols, symbols that were used in the early past of his country.

I concluded my iunterview with the words:

‘The symbolic language of Ayhan Menteş’s pictures has its origin in ethnographic sources and in his subconsciousness. With their mystical forms and poetic expressions, he convinces us of his deep love for life.’ But do read my interview with him:



At the opening evening came together the old crowd of old colleagues and artist friends and it was a pleasure to see him enjoy it. For example with Mehmet Kansu, the poet and writer, he went to school together in Limassol, he was his classmate. He stood there, fully alive and explained his new paintings to us. Anecdotes. But also many young people came to see the art work of the painter who is regarded as the first abstract painter in Cyprus.

The exhibition is still open until April 30 – Visiting hours: 11:00-13:00 and 15:00-18:00 


Ayhan Menteş and Mehmet Kansu,  classmates
Ayhan Menteş and Mehmet Kansu, classmates

with Osman Keten, President of EMAA
with Osman Keten, President of EMAA

with Mehmet Harmancı, Mayor of Nicosia
with Mehmet Harmancı, Mayor of Nicosia

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