Heidi Trautmann

894 : Out of the Chest of Cyprus Güner Pir – Art Exhibition at the Eaved House in Nicosia

By Heidi Trautmann

Every three to five years Güner Pir, a painter with a very special language of expression, shows his work to his attentive admirers and followers -  and since 2007 at the same place. Güner Pir has remained true to his philosophy over the many years I have been following him and since I interviewed him in 2005 in his studio.

In a very subtle way Güner Pir is telling the story of his country, the island of Cyprus and being born in Paphos, he adds a kind of sadness and nostalgia to his tools. Precious… it is the first thought that comes to my mind.

In my first interview with him we went in detail into his working technique which says:

“First comes the structure – the structure to receive and carry the idea I have and like a womb it develops the idea by itself; that is the nature of my paintings, the growing process. My paintings have a life process. I take up a pebble which catches my eye and I study it, its colours its lines and while I turn the pebble in my hand, gradually, in my mind an idea is engraved. That is the precise moment which could trigger a new series of paintings.”

The structure in his paintings has a dominating language, you want to get closer and touch it. It speaks to you. “The structure is my signature,  that is me, that is Güner Pir. I work with my knife to obtain the fine structure until it has the life I have in my mind.” It is a building-up process of different paint layers, oil paints given time to dry, then worked over again.


The 31 paintings of this year’s exhibition are held in an antique cream and brown tone, the colours of history.  Güner Pir focusses on specific topics – and often one canvas is not enough to tell the whole story so we get to hear several variations such as… Cypriots, Hard Years, The Last Bendo, Lefkoşa…. Lefkoşa, The Dowry Chest, Coffee Fortune and so forth.  With “Cypriots” he refers to Rauf Denktaş’ well-known quotation: ‘The best Cypriots are its donkeys’… in Hard Years he pays his respect to the times when brothers killed brothers.  The other themes about the local traditions, lost traditions, give you some heart ache and a longing for the old days, memories we somehow all have, goes with the dreamlike female figure that impersonates the story told, also for the beautiful Arabic calligraphy Güner Pir is a master in.


Unfortunately the exhibition is over and we have to wait for another three years. However, my photos may give an impression.  I am sorry that I could not bring my thoughts much earlier onto paper but for six weeks I was not available for reasons of moving house.



Güner Pir and Feridun Işıman
Güner Pir and Feridun Işıman

Web Site Counter(web site counter)  [impressum