By Margaret Sheard …..
Saturday 15th April was World Art Day and a very significant day for the opening of an exhibition of Heidi Trautmann’s work at the Rauf Raif Denktaş Culture and Congress Centre in Famagusta.
A coach had been arranged, by Irene Raab of Kaleidoskop, for people from Girne and surrounding areas which started off from the car park in Girne and collected a few people (including Chris and myself) at Supreme Supermarket in Çatalköy. It made a nice change for Chris to make the journey to Famagusta in comfort and be able to enjoy the scenery en-route for a change.
The opening of Heidi’s exhibition was at 6pm and we arrived in plenty of time so were able to chat with one or two people we knew before the speeches and official opening of the exhibition of 148 paintings, a small selection of the many paintings, which Heidi has produced during the 16 years she has lived in North Cyprus. In fact Heidi told me there were more paintings but there was not enough space to exhibit the remaining 30+.
There were a few familiar faces we recognised, including Ismail Isilsoy and his wife, who are great friends of Heidi, and had travelled from Yeşilirmak to be with her for this very special exhibition. Ismail is himself an artist and a few years ago we attended one of his exhibitions of wooden faces. He told me he isn’t doing any carving at the moment and is concentrating on his acting. Yet another talented person in our midst.
There were speeches from the Director of the EMU Centre for Cyprus Studies – Prof. Dr. Naciye Doratlı, the newly elected President of the European Mediterranean Art Association – Zehra Şonya and the Vice-President of EMAA – Esra Plűmer Bardak who is also an art history lecturer at Girne American University. They all praised Heidi for her dedicated work in the field of art and obviously had a great deal of admiration and respect for her and the many achievements accomplished in the 16 years she has lived in North Cyprus.
Heidi then followed with her own speech, welcoming her guests and thanking those who had supported her exhibition in so many ways. Heidi said in her speech … “Many people ask what is art? What does it stand for? Is it part of interior design…or a sort of philosophy? It is said that it can heal people… For me ART is LIFE, it is life under a magnifying glass, it is made by people for people, it is to understand matters of nature and humanity, drawing a person from life over many sittings has shown me the many facets of a model’s personality. Art is as old as our globe” …… “It is World Art Day today, a reason to think about its worth. There is still so much to see and to learn, for example what material people are made of, they carry in them the secrets of the soil they were born on, what shadows are on their souls through the daily events that are thrown in their way. It is people that make the culture of a country, all members of society are creators in one way or another and we need to respect and recognise all of them, it is a country’s language. I think this is the main purpose of making art”. The full speech can be viewed by clicking here
The exhibition was then open to the people attending and they started to work their way through the Grand Exhibition Hall to view some of the paintings which Heidi has produced during her life in Cyprus from 2001 to 2016. There were also catalogues in two volumes showing Heidi’s work which were on sale.
Personally I have mixed feelings about art as I do not have an ounce of talent in this direction but I can appreciate the work of those who are talented and their interpretation of what they see. I spoke with Gulseven Atay, who is also an artist, and was there with her husband Morton Coles. Gulseven told me that all artists see things differently and when they join Heidi for their art life classes all of the artists’ work on that day can be very different.
We are aware of Heidi’s great passion for art and she sees it not only as a form of relaxation and interpretation, but that it also has much to offer to children to make them more self-confident and understanding of their fellow beings. The children of today can make a big difference to the world of tomorrow and through art there can be a big difference as to how people interact and understand each other.
Heidi’s exhibition will be open from 15th April to 15th May. Times are Monday to Friday 9-12:00 and 13:00-17:00 hrs. For any visitors wishing to view the exhibition out of normal hours or at weekends, they should ask the security/information man to give access and switch on the lights. For visitors wishing to meet Heidi, she will be at the exhibition on Friday of each week.
The exhibition is well worth a visit to see the many paintings on display. The paintings are for sale and will be available for collection at the end of the exhibition from the Rauf Raif Denktaş Cultural and Congress Centre or, by arrangement, in Nicosia or Girne by contacting Heidi on 0533 876 7470.
Nos. 118-133 (Street Scenes) €50 / 200TL and all other paintings €100 / 400TL.
Heidi herself spoke of her advancing years and this could well be her last big exhibition.
To visit Heidi’s website where you can view a vast collection of art news click here