Paper Art Workshop on May 14, 2019 at the KAÜ Mini Art Festival in the Old City of Nicosia 

 

By Heidi Trautmann

 

What better time than the month of May to organize an art festival, when the fresh young energy of spring is in full bloom. Following the green activity of nature the students of the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Kibris Amerikan Üniversite (Cyprus American University) brought to display the results of what they have learnt and studied over the past months in an interesting exhibition, and at the same time they took part in some workshops offered with new concepts and ideas, such as sharing different art disciplines with the goal to create a common event which found my full confirmation; sharing in arts is the most important, not only the work but the knowledge, the knowhow.

The second workshop offered was organized by three founding members of the Cyprus Paper Association, Ismet Tatar, Inci Kansu and Emel Samioğlu, who did just that: sharing their philosophy and knowledge of this wonderful paper art technique with the students, and they invited them to take part and learn the basics; they surely will later go on creating their own ideas with this technique.

 

The venue of the event was the lovely backyard of the Atelier 54 in Tanzimut Sokak in the Arabahmet Quarter, a most beautiful old house renovated by the KAÜ and used for exhibitions and workshops. The atmosphere reigning there is always an inspiration for every artist and art student. Along the back wall of the property under big trees long tables were put up to have ten students work alongside the teachers; they were shown to make the paper pulp from different papers, how to shred the paper, soak it, work it with a blender and get the proper saturation with the binder to use, different steps; some pulp had already been prepared by the teachers in order to save time, different coloured pulp in various containers and from these another group of students learnt how ‘to scoop’ out pulp by the means of a wire mesh frame (mould and decle), how to hold them to make the water run off and finally how to turn the wet sheets of pulp onto some dry material, a piece of cloth or felt; now patience was required, the various sheets were then put under pressure and only the next day the dry sheets of handmade paper was available for the students for further use into a piece of art. Examples were shown to the students what could be done with this handmade paper.

 

On another table, artist Şenol Özdevrim, teacher at the KAÜ, but also member of the Cyprus Paper Association, showed the students - and invited them to work with him -, how a sculpture is being made, in this case it was a big African mask he used. He covered the object with very finely shredded paper pulp; he told the students and the viewers around him, that it would take two to three days to completely have the paper sculpture dry; this sort of sculpting can be done with the help of any object, a plate, a bowl, cup or whatever; copies in paper….

 

Another workshop was to make face masks of all kind of materials but mainly paper; I spoke to some students and they were thrilled of the idea of using paper and especially handmade one from waste paper to include it into future art concepts.

 

Working makes hungry, especially young people, and a group of students had prepared a buffet with cakes and other goodies, the profit made went to the Arabahmet Primary School… what a nice idea. The Mini Art Festival was open to the public, so they made quite some profit. I had come along with my granddaughter from Louisiana who really enjoyed the activities. Thumb up,

she meant and the students also have my respect. There were quite some more activities going on incl. music and films until late at night.

A Mini Art Festival with a great impact on students and visitors in many ways. The precious experience of making art with simple means.

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