Review by Heidi Trautmann …
Filiz Ankaç – Yok senden daha güzeli – Nobody‘s as beautiful as you
Daily News of Life and times in North Cyprus goes around the world
By Heidi Trautmann……
Many friends and contemporaries of William Dreghorn had come together on the opening evening at the ArtRooms in Girne, Turkish Cypriot friends as well as British friends. He died in 2001, that was when we started building the house, and he was one of ‘the important things’ one learnt about Cyprus. I have never met him but have later written about some activities around his work initiated by the Dept of Antiquity, i.e. Prof. Dr. Müge Şefketoglu who knew him from childhood years and followed him – literally – with sketchbook and pen, and it is also her to whom I directed my questions when I was approached by collectors – the one in South Africa, the other in Los Angeles on the basis of my articles on my website; thus we received information of sketches and paintings which were not in the Cyprus collection. Internet the great communicator.
Dr. Sibel Siber said at the opening ….it is to honour William Dreghorn who has done so much for this country; she also wrote the introduction in the English and Turkish catalogue of his work which is a common effort of governmental and private initiatives.
Many buildings, images of streets and archaeological details would no longer be available to us if it was not for William Dreghorn. Also Erbil Arkin of the Arkin Group shared some private memories with us. Among the distinguished guests was also his doctor who sat by his side at the very end; even then he was asking for paper and pen to draw some things from memory, he told me.
To see some of the articles I have written about the work of William Dreghorn please click on the links below:
Castle Sketch Book by William Dreghorn – click here
A painting of St Hilarion by William Dreghorn – click here
William Dreghorn in Bellapais – click here
The exhibition itself was beautifully prepared by Oya Silbery, the director of the gallery; she had welcomed the guests on the lower terrace of ‘The House’. It was one of those melting tropical nights under a Mediterranean sky when you don’t want to go home and as I was moving from one group to another I heard all the stories people brought up from times when places like Girne and Famagusta were deserted and a man sitting for hours and sketching and painting away – Bill Dreghorn loved the Old Harbour in Girne – would catch everyone’s eye.
There is a permanent exhibition in the castle – and what would Bill Dreghorn say if he could see Girne today – he would turn in his grave. Yes, things have changed, especially these last ten years. We have somehow lost the patience to observe the details, and this is a good occasion to call that into our minds, with the beautifully drawn pictures of so many parts of our island, an old alley in the Old City, a fountain, a door or the stone works on a building, they are drawn not only for the love of detail but with his heart; you immediately feel at home when looking at them closely and you want to go and find them in reality.
A big thank you for the organisers to share these moments on paper with us. The exhibition will be open until September 09 from midday on until midnight.
In her introduction Oya Silbery, curator of the exhibition and founder of the ArtRooms Gallery, concludes that lithography as an art form has not been attributed the recognition it actually deserves. That is true. And she further states that the belief that true art must be on canvas is still valid due to lack of information.
There existed hardly any lithography studios in Turkey when Sinan Demirtaş graduated in painting from the University of Mimar Sinan Istanbul in 1993 when he became interested in this interesting discipline. In the same year he became director of Aksanat Art Centre Lithography Department until 2004. In 1997 he was co-founder of the Sinan Demirtaş Lithography Studio together with Hasan Yelmen, an undertaking in which he could bring in his experience and knowledge. Over the years he worked together with many artists and was acknowledged for the high quality of printing in the printing art scene.
A collection of such praised works by 24 artists he has now brought to Cyprus for the exhibition with ArtRooms. It is a pleasure to be given the opportunity to have such an exhibition on the island, especially since we don’t have a lithography studio here nor any printing studio. (There is the Hambis Printing Museum in the Southern part of Cyprus near Limassol and I have heard of a newly established dependence in Nicosia).
Lithography as an artistic medium was used in the early 19th century by artists such as Delacroix and Géricault and many more later; at the end of the century we have the famous Lautrec’s lithographs, works he did for the theatre, for example. Lithography was invented in 1796 by the German author and actor Alois Senefelder for the printing of theatre scripts. Lithography which means literally ‘writing on stone’ is based on the immiscibility of oil and water. The image is painted on the smooth, especially prepared surface of limestone with oil-based ink pens; the surface was then treated with a mixture of acid and gum….a process too detailed to explain here in my review. A good printing press is required to print the image on paper for a usually limited edition which are then numbered and signed by the artist. For example 1 of 100.
The participating artists at ArtRooms are: Adnan Çoker, Antonio Cosentino, Aydin Ayan, Ayten Yetiş Doğu, Burhan Doğançay, Erdal Alantar, Ergin Inan, Ferruh Başağa, Güngör Taner, Habip Aydoğdu, Leyla Gamsiz, Mustafa Altintaş, Naile Akıncı, Ömer Uluç, Özdemir Altan, Sinan Demirtaş, Taner Ceylan, Tanju Demirci, Tomur Atagök, Tülin Onat, Turan Erol, Zahit Büyükişleyen, Zekal Ormancı.
A fine collection of lithographs by some remarkable artists.
The exhibition is on until 11 March 2015; viewing times are from 1 pm until late at night during the restaurant hours.
Note: I prefer to go during the day as there are less problems with light for taking pictures; I have succeeded with a few but they might be enough to whet your appetite.
PS; In the above text I said that there are no printing studios in the Northern part of Cyprus, there is one art studio in Catalköy, please read my text.
For more information regarding the art and culture of Cyprus visit Heidi’s website www.heiditrautmann.com