Don’t be afraid, the moon will rise
By Heidi Trautmann
Artists, writers, poets and theatre people came to the EMAA Art Centre on June 7 to help Özden Selenge get her ninth book child out of the cradle and make it walk and simultaneously discuss her new paintings’ new style, new colours.
Özden collects impressions directly from among the people of a village or in nature, and then she returns home to write down and paint for endless days in a row, hardly eating or sleeping, retiring from the world so to speak. All her books she wrote by hand, a more direct feeling presumably. She writes about life, life stories picked from people’s lips or directly from their heart, images in which the readers can recognise themselves. Her paintings, often on hand made paper, are petite just like her, but full of stories, stories told by symbols and specific colours; she loves purple and yellow, purple the colour of our mountains in the mist of a day freshly born or dying, and yellow the colour of full day, the sun, happiness but also sadness, which are apart only be the width of a hair.
The new colour she is giving us is the colour red, the colour of passion for life, the home in the form of a square combined by a net with the outside world, everything is interwoven, spurs of vividly coloured silk threads leaving the rectangle of the painting as the story is never ending. Women in window frames sadly looking from behind the curtains as life rushes by with the background dark, a depth of hopelessness and unhappiness. Symbols are the moon, the trees she loves, cats and often a ladder to be used to climb up to the moon, the spinner of fairy tales.
Özden Selenge is already working on her next book which will be her life’s story from her childhood till today. With her inquisitive mind and her big understanding heart she will tell us stories between the lines which are also the story of Cyprus.