Art and Culture

Art Exhibition ‘Özlem’s Colours’ by Halil Öztunç


By Heidi Trautmann …

In Loving Memory of Özlem Savoğlu

It is a very unusual gesture by an artist to preserve the memories of a person in a big series of paintings, a statement to bring back the memories of a person who was so full of life, a positive and loving life.

In his solo exhibition the artist Halil Öztunç very delicately brought to display 43 paintings in the beautiful space of the Bedesten in Nicosia. Hundreds of people had come for the opening, family members, many friends and, as I learned, many friends from school days. One woman had even come from England especially for this occasion. It was a very emotional affair.

The death of Özlem Savoğlu in June 2016, who was an interpreter for about seven years in the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, caused great sadness throughout the country.  So it was written in the media in North Cyprus. She had fought cancer for many years. I had met her briefly in her function as translator.

Halil Öztunç has painted the image of this young woman in a very positive way, full of joy, surrounded by what she liked most, nature and its colours, and in many paintings her portrait is surrounded by butterflies, she loved most.  There was a cherry blossom tree to which family members and friends, tall or small, could hang some written messages for her to read in the other world.