Art and Culture

Hüseyin Özinal Art Exhibition at the ArtRooms Girne


By Heidi Trautmann …

Hüseyin Özinal – Fugitive Bodies – Art Exhibition at the ArtRooms, Girne

Once in our lifetime we all come to crossroads where we have to decide how to continue, be it in a physical or intellectual way. Things, events, are thrown in our way, obstacles that force us to rethink our life, our thinking, question life in general, our life and the meaning of it. There are many questions and …somehow only a few answers.

Hüseyin Özinal, a highly sensitive artist and theatre stage designer I have known for many years and had interviewed some years ago, had come to this crossroad about two years ago when he started an active thinking process about life, about the body, its form, deformations, sickness, ageing process or otherness, away from the norm of society. He took the approach literally and created 3600 drawings, monochrome and colour sketches of the body within two years. It is a process most of us go through but we would hardly go as far as make it visible. Hüseyin Özinal talks about this process and you should read it because it concerns us all.

Many hundreds of these sketches are on display in the ArtRooms, very delicately presented row by row along the walls by the curator and artist Oya Silbery and her team – I cannot say it often enough how well done all ArtRooms exhibitions are.  Other sketches are laid out in sketch books Hüseyin Özinal has filled over the years.

Sketches done in ink, pencil, heavy brushstrokes, images of naked bodies in its ugliness, fat and old, with hanging skin, bodies with scars, transgender bodies, a traumatic  experience to do it 3600 times, the illness of his mother, the ageing process of a beloved person, the realization that we all end up there, is the probable explanation. However the brushstrokes and pen lines get more and more abstract until they are nothing but ….signs, the letters of an alphabet of an unknown language, body language?

The beautiful catalogue carries a note inside the cover page ‘Dedicated to my mother, LGBTI and ‘the others’.  There is a text included by Gürgenç Korkmazel, poet and friend, which examines the work from different angles and I think, it is well done and gets close to what Hüseyin has tried to say. This can be seen on my website.

I had thoughts of my own for reasons of my own.  The body is a vessel, it can be beautiful if taken care of for a long time, but it will wither like leaves in autumn when everything is said and done. The contents will remain if we have filled the vessel with things that the generations after us regard worthy of keeping. The conclusion would then be to put all heed on the contents and not worry about the vessel.

The exhibition can be visited until 09 December from 14:00 to closing hours of the restaurant The House.