In June, I made the first update on my blog in some time. I had been keeping quiet for a few months while I basked in village life and worked on my residency project. However, I connected to the blogging world once again to make an announcement about the concluding exhibition from my time at Babayan Culture House.
The show was set up in Göreme, a neighboring village of Ibrahimpaşa. With help, I hung the 45 drawings and 3 paintings I had made over my 6 week residency period. The venue was perfect: a vaulted cave room at ‘Seten’ Cappadocia Cultural Center.
I had spent the previous days handing out fliers, and spreading the word of my small exhibition to travel agencies, hotels, tourists and friends. It is so nerve wracking to have a show of any kind anywhere…at least it is for me, and I was hoping to have at least a little bit of a crowd. As it turns out, word of mouth pays off, and I was delighted to see a steady flow of people all night.
I talked with friends, discussed my project with foreigners and locals, and had the chance to speak with a few tourists from Istanbul and Ankara about the turmoil that had erupted in Turkey over the summer. It was refreshing to hear accounts from people living in the heart of such a revolutionary moment, as I had been living in the peaceful eye of a hurricane for weeks. “We are here, but our hearts are in Istanbul,” one woman said to me as we talked about the unrest emerging from the Gezi Park protests. I was honored that they stepped into the show, shared their thoughts with me, and took the time to view my work. I was also honored to have so many Ibrahimpaşa locals make a trip out of the village, to see the project they had so much influence in. Of course, they came with a yogurt carton filled with freshly stuffed grape leaves (my favorite) and a box of cherry juice…it is not the custom to show up empty handed to anything.
Around 11pm, the room cleared out, and we were left to enjoy a glass of wine in the cool Cappadocian night. I was filled with bliss and satisfaction. How wonderful it is to see the conclusion of a project, and at the same time, how difficult to let it go.