It had almost been 2 years since my last visit to Kapadokya. I have visited this surreal and almost lunar area of Turkey on 3 previous occassions. Each time as a tourist, but always returning with a wider knowlege and understanding of Turkish culture and language. A tourist experiences the superficial, and even though the desire to see more may be there, it is tough to break down the barrier that exists between visiter and place. There is something about Turkey that is deeply rooted within me, I have known it since my first encounter with the country in 2008. I have returned again and again, and even when I am away, aspects from my life and experiences here emerge in my artwork. I am eager to break down the barrier that exists between Turkey and myself. I no longer want the superficial experience, but long to grow, understand and connect.
So, after living in Istanbul for a year, and returning to the US for another year, I found myself longing to be back in the only other country that has felt like home to me. I applied, and was accepted into my first artist in residence program at the Babyan Culture House in İbrahimpaşa, Kapadokya.
After spending a week back in the dizzying spell of Istanbul, I made my way inland, to the heart of Anatolia. Arriving late at night, I stepped off the bus into rural Turkey, real Turkey. A group of men at the Kahve Hane cliked their çay glasses and stared while I paid the driver and inquired where to find the residency. I am never left disappointed when it comes to Turkish hospitality. For it only took a few questions in my shaky Turkish, and a few looks of feeling lost and bewildered before I was helped with my oversized bag of art materials down the steep cobblestone road to my new home for the following 6 weeks.
There is no greater sleep after travel than sleep in a cave, and no greater feeling than waking up with the clarity of a quiet country. My first day was overwhelmed with beauty, and the endless opportunities of the village, just beckoning my to draw.