December 8, 2023

By Heidi Trautmann….

1st International ‘Art Muses’ Symposium – Here: The Exhibition ‘Crown on my Head’ by Dr. Ergün Arda – 20-27Sep at the Girne Municipality Art Gallery

What an intriguing invitation to an art exhibition with the title ‘The Crown on my Head’ I thought when I went to see the exhibition which is part of the symposium held and sponsored within the framework of the Girne Summer 2023 Activities.

The artworks are by Asst.Prof. Dr. Ergün Arda, who is also demonstrating ceramic techniques among other international artists in several studios at the old Municipality Building from 20-27 September 2023. The workshop is open for the public to visit.

I did not have the opportunity to be at the opening of the exhibition so I asked the archaeologist Giovanna Fregni who has worked close to him at the Vounous Symposium and helped him to set up the exhibition to update me on the background of the artist and his artworks as I did not find any written information at the exhibition.

“Asst.Prof. Dr. Ergün Arda graduated from Marmara University. He still continues to carry out studies as a Faculty Member at Çanakkale On Sekiz Mart University, Faculty of Fine Arts, Ceramics and Glass. He has come to Vounous for the past two years. Last year he ran a seminar on raku and demonstrated raku firing techniques, this year we worked together making glass furnaces and made beads. Ergün’s work is in a style that is from Çanakkale and the Dardanelles, on the west coast of Turkey, so much of his technique is new to people in Cyprus. The opening was well attended and a great success. (My comment: We had raku workshops in Girne some years ago, I reported on it.)

He works in various techniques, but focuses on raku, where the ceramic pieces are taken straight from the kiln while they are still hot and then put onto a pile of sawdust and wood shavings, with more sawdust piled on top. The resulting flames are then smothered by fireproof blankets. The technique gives the ceramics a metallic or iridescent lustre.

One of the features of the workshops he gives is that he teaches people to make fish that can swim in the sea. They are balanced and have no openings, so when they are placed in the water, the fish float.”

It is a very colourful, positive, life-affirming exhibition, with fish of all sizes and dresses swimming in brilliant waters. I would call it a “Theme with many Variations” I would have liked to hear some music with my tour along the walls full of fish swarms, perhaps the beautiful song by Charles Trenet ‘La Mer’. And there are the big beautiful human heads with a crown of fish which is obviously the theme of the exhibition, representing nature and culture as the Crown of Humanity? Some horse-like figures on wheels in the next room, sea horses?

Everything is possible in the deep depths of the sea….and as representative of culture.

I have not been to the Symposium yet, but maybe I get the chance on Monday 25th September.

To see more pictures please visit my Facebook page.

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