By Heidi Trautmann
Ghosts of the past. They are omnipresent, through the mind of the architect, the sweat of the workmen cutting the stones from the mountains, and the knowledgeable hands of the stonemason. Odours have remained from the people who have lived there, their way of life, the echo of prayers and whispers of love, at least it is said that the monks’ life was an easy going one in those days.
Similar thoughts must have passed through the mind of the artist Shaun Dziedzic Feridun when she decided to “talk” to the walls of the Bellapais ‘Cellarium’ or Crypt as it is known to many from art exhibitions and small concerts.
Shaun is the daughter-in-law of a Bellapais gentleman, Mr. Hüsnü Feridun, first Director of Education in the TRNC. She is married to his son and lives with her family in Zürich but has come to Cyprus visiting for the last 20 years, so the Abbey is home territory for her and she always felt a sort of spiritual connetion to it. “Standing in the presence of this Early Gothic architecture with its short thick columns and the arched lines of the vaulting, I saw a sort of rhythm; a slow circular dance through the room. The light entering through the Windows and doors filters into the darkness without disturbing the quiet and intimate atmosphere, adding points of illumination and deep shadows and throwing pools of soft colour across the floor.”
Shaun got the permission to have the cellarium for herself for three days and she started experimenting with soft cloth and coloured light. Sometimes the wind from the Windows and doors helped her to visualize her imaginations of dance and movement, of catching perhaps the soul of the room, also closing the circle of movement indicated by the rib-vaulted ceiling. The results of her project, beautiful photos and a video, we could see at the exhibition at the Eaved House Saçaklı Ev in Nicosia in the first week of May.
Shaun has studied art at the Sommerakademie für Bildende Kunst in Salzburg, Austria Diploma 1983; School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Tufts University Boston, Mass. USA B.F.A., May 1986 and Vermont Studio Colony, Johnson, Vermont, USA, Scholarship July 1990.
Her art activities revolve around Zurüch and Thalwil in Switzerland, often in cooperation with art groups, for conceptual art, seeking to research the human reaction to certain objects or concepts, for example a project with the concept of ‘waiting’ which takes a great part of our life; or she researched the reaction of 100 people given dolls of wood, what would they do with them?
An interesting approach and something new to us, in the view of an artist I spoke to who has visited the opening on May 2, but will it reach the people, will they understand?
Art, a tool of communication which is my understanding, using all kind of means to make visible the hidden. The proceedings went to Help Those with Cancer (Tulips).