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Geomorphologies - 2015

Geomorphologies – Ismet Tatar

By Heidi Trautmann

How did my land smell in spring in the morning when we children opened the door and sat on the porch to nibble on a piece of bread while we watched the sun come over the rim of the world, perhaps a cat lying at our feet or watching the chicken scratch in the warm dusty earth.

How did the garden smell when the blossoms of fruit were attracting insects and we carried our noses high with our nostrils wide open. How did the ripe fruit taste when we picked them for making preserves, not the taste you feel when you bite into a fruit from the supermarket. It is different, a precious memory. And how did the earth smell and feel when the first rains came, the smell of richness and happiness and we children went out into the rain and got soaked. Memories of home and security, memories of love, like the arms of your parents. That is Homeland, and it smells just very differently from any other land.


This is my version of homeland but I believe that Ismet Tatar had just this in mind when she worked on the two projects in the years 2006 – 2013. What is the emotional value of land in its basic forms to people of a country, a village and what influence does it have on health, soul and body when land is taken away. She carried out research in a basic and down to earth method by taking samples of earth, samples of plants to use it for her art work, she wanted to tell the story in a two- and three- dimensional way: earth mixed with paint and binder and applied to the canvas, combined with torn title deeds; earth of different sections of areas filled into emptied teabags to represent pieces of land, laid out on canvas; earth ground from rocks and stones to fill glass containers as specimen of a certain area. On several canvasses and posters Ismet Tatar is presenting and explaining the material she used for making her own paper, handmade paper, from all kind of leaves, fruit and vegetables such as tomatoes for example. In a documentary film she shows the production of paper from the picking and collecting to the finished sheet.

The colours are beautiful, nothing and nobody can imitate nature and nothing can replace home, can replace the smell of home.


The exhibition was opened on May 11 by Prof.Dr. Hifsiye Pulhan, Vice Rector of EMU / Eastern Mediterranean University Famagusta which – besides EMAA - has supported the project. The curator is Dr. Esra Plümer Bardak and the project coordinator Zehra Şonya. It is planned that the exhibition will be shown in Famagusta at a later date.

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