By Heidi Trautmann
Actually, I thought, I already have said everything with my
announcement two weeks before the opening of this amazing exhibition, about
Hikmet Uluçam’s dedication to nature and his loving care of this piece of land
in Lapta which he had taken over about thirty years ago and which he has
transformed into something of an indescribable wild beauty. He has somehow made
a pact with nature, paid his respect and invited nature as an honoured guest,
as a teacher, artist and landscape architect. That what nature is in the first
place, but we have forgotten about it and are taking everything for granted.
I enclose again the relevant
texts I have written about Hikmet Uluçam and his philosophy and approach to
nature not only as a gardener but also as a graphic designer and art
The day of the opening was
warm and beautiful and hundreds of guests came up the road leading from the
centre of Lapta to the old Başpinar and you certainly would not miss the place
for the many cars that were lined up along the road going uphill. Hikmet had
done a lot of preparations to lead the guests along towards the house through
beds of cyclamen and anemones but at the same time keeping areas closed to not
walk across the wild cyclamen growing under bushes and trees…. please just look
at me and do not step on me.
It was a feast for the eyes
with respect to forms and colours, with old cacti towering over small paths,
discovering all kinds of winter flowers, and blossoming fruit trees such as
avocado and mulberries. The many different kinds of cactus, many years old and
schools of young plants and its kindergarten. People could buy some and I saw
many guests wandering off with small pots.
Dr. Sibel Siber, the Speaker
of the Parliament had come to open the exhibition. In the Cactus Gallery
itself, a lovely hall which Hikmet always wanted to turn into a regular gallery
and ceramic studio, he had the walls literally plastered with photos of
At the entrance I discovered
the photo of the house and land as it was when he took it over and opposite an
old painting of his that shows his love for this very Cypriot plant Cyclamen.
Hikmet Uluçam, the father of
cacti, how he is called otherwise, teaches us how a piece of Cypriot landscape
can be kept as a garden, giving it the right to grow and shine in its own
right, not forcing it to become something different. It always pays, I say,
just like with human beings.
The gates to Hikmet’s
Wonderland are open for the public until April 10. Click onto the link.