Art and Culture

Vounous Exhibition, Hand in Hand with the Past at Bedesten, Nicosia


By Heidi Trautmann …

A kind of timelessness reigned in the beautiful space of the Bedesten at the opening of the exhibition with all the small and large pieces which were created in September in the “Bronze Age Village” with its bamboo huts erected there for the Vounous Symposia. 

A shiver ran over my spine to realize that the design of the ceramic pots and sculptures was done thousands of years ago here on the island by people who had the same wish as we have today to decorate the containers of daily use and to memorise events, burials and hunting success and more. The first books were thus written in clay, figuratively.

Rauf Ersenal, historian and ceramist, the mastermind of the project which has been going on for years with all the research work done, had the vision to revive the past for Cyprus people, by creating replicas of the objects of the Bronze Ages which were taken away from the island and are – since the last century – in other countries’ museums.  I have accompanied him on the road he took.  On the internet enter my name and terracotta symposium and you will find my texts to all events on my website

I entered the Bedesten hall early and found Rauf and the artists lighting the many small oil lamps which created a festive atmosphere especially when Şenol Özdevrim and the light girls entered the scene in their bronze age costumes carrying torches.  I had been to the Vounous ‘village’ in September and had admired the enthusiasm the artists were showing with their work. It was an experience they all will not forget. They learned a lot about the past on the island, about patterns and history, just as the public learns now from this exhibition.

The opening speeches were made by Rauf Ersenal talking about his vision, followed by the mayor of Çatalköy, Mehmet Halusioğlu, a great supporter of the project, and finally HE Mustafa Akinçı who spoke about the importance of being aware of our past at all times.

I hope my photos can convey the message and that many visitors will go to see the precious exhibition at the Bedesten which continues until November 30 during governmental office hours.

Rauf Ersenal announced that there will be – in the near future – an exhibition in Kyrenia at the Trafo Art Centre and later it will go to Istanbul. My congratulations.  Rauf Ersenal is an extremely hard worker and excellent organizer and we have to thank him for this.


Link to the 2nd Terracotta Symposium click here