Sunday, June 07, 2009

In The Blue Turtle Garden

Yazma belongs to the people,

Yazma is made of essential values,

Yazma mixes colors and forms into life...

Yazma is generous, docile and useful...

Yazma gives freshness and joy...

May painting follow suit!

An important tradition originated by Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu [1913-1975], who's a famous painter, writer and poet, and continued by his family is the "59th Yazma (=Hand-Painted Textile) Festival" in the beginning of every June. Both Bedri Rahmi and Eren performed their art for years in media and techniques ranging from paintings to drawings in pencil, from the mural to the mosaic, from ceramic to the Yazma.

This Festival is taking place in Mavi Kaplumbağa (=Blue Turtle)
Garden of Eyüpoğlu Family House (below) this weekend in Kalamış at the Anatolian side, where is only a few minutes away from my home. It's decorated with cheerful and colorful Yazmas and presented to old friends and new admirers. Oh one of these new admirers is me, of course:) And I did not want to miss out! On the first day, yesterday, we decided to go. The day started having a cocktail party:

The fresh fruits, full plates of cheeries and plums from the garden and white wine were served. We all were feeling so good ourselves, and it was a superb day from heaven. I see you are ready, now shall we continue touring inside?

A hand-painted block print, as we call in turkish 'Yazma' is produced from this block like above. In Turkey this ancient form of traditional art expressed itself mostly with flowers, animal figures and in geometric figures.

But in the 1950's the very well-known Turkish painters Bedri Rahmi and Eren Eyüpoğlu brought new energy to this almost extinct form of art by using their own designs in printing. Here's an example, Bedri Rahmi's Life Tree as follows:

"For me block prints cannot be anything, but paintings. What started me on block print making was the desire to take the art of painting to the common people."

By Bedri Rahmi Eyüpoğlu

Being enthusiastic character, Bedri Rahmi who loves Anatolian folk arts and people, painted fish, nereids he called 'Melengeç', Boats of Karagöz, Pomegranates, 'Bodrum' motifs, 'Self-Portraits' bordered with pomegranates, an 'Owl', and 'Nereids between Two Slices of Red Watermelon'. A few more samples:

This new form of expression reached full of maturity in the works of their son Mehmet Hamdi [1939-2009]. The entrance of his Atelier where he worked:

And, his chair still stands in the garden as a memorial corner, with his two symbols, his cap and a Yazma. This year in March Yazmas lost their Father, but his successors and students keep alive the tradition with this Festival every summer.

His used various techniques and effects in areas of varying shapes and dimensions from paintings, mosaics, calligraphies, engravings, serigraphs, murals, three dimensional architectural elements, reliefs, glass objects, and to plates, all embellish the walls of our cities or our homes with his original motifs, giving them character and color jollification! And, lovely items such as pillows, bedcovers, table cloths, teeshirts, bags, bookmarks, many many more find their owners here:

Because this is the only chance to use the art of Yazma in our houses! As a result of the artworks he left behind are in front of us as permanent traces of his intention and the effort he showed in this 'path'. So I find it impossible not to admire these artists who have given life to this regular piece of cloth with a dab of paint. I made really enjoyable & tasteful shopping,... and I was leaving the Blue Turtle Garden with some thoughts on my mind:
with or without the means and talent of art, every now and then looking deep into oneself can be healing and give ways to the new ventures.

"The recently flourishing idea of architect-artist cooperation has started to materialise in the United States and Europe. What is certain is that architecture is the provider of best light, the best life span, the chance of b
eing exhibited to the most people to any painting. Without the magical touch of architecture a painting is forced to live a nomadic life, in other words be forced to be buried alive or rather rest asleep forever confined in some dark museum corner."
By Bedri Rahmi Eyüpoğlu, Mar 13th 1952


  1. Truly vibrant and artistic! Thanks for this peep into Yazma. Wish I was there too. I love these expressions of art.

  2. Beautiful art everywhere Nihal. wish I was there.

  3. This is not only spectacular, the technique and history are fascinating.

    I love the color combinations and the repeating patterns.

  4. This Is Something A Great Post !! The Block Printing Can Be So Beautiful I Had Never Thought Before...The Paintings Are Really Very Awesome And Moreover The Blocks Look Like Some Old Scriptures.Great One THanks For Sharing..

  5. Really nice and well-organized post, Nihal.
    I like so much all the free artistic expressions. More, I am always glad when people can freely express their thoughts, whether with paintings or drawings, music, articles, etc.
    Have a good day!

  6. Very very beautiful art........ I am really enjoy to see it. Beautiful color combination...
    Thanks for sharing....

  7. Thank you for taking me along with you to the Blue Turtle Garden to see the Yazma. My favorite textile was the fish on a field of black. Did you take anything home with you?

  8. Nihal, now I've not the sculptures near, because they are in the mountains and I'm at the moment in town, but if I remember rightly they are smaller than 1.70cm: without the base, I think they are about 1/1.10cm
    Have a nice evening!

  9. Thanks a lot Nihal for more information Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu and our traditional wear yazma,best wishes,stay well.

  10. Nicole nel tuo blog c'è molto da spaziare.....complimenti :-)
    Grazie per le belle parole lasciate sull'isola :-), da noi è finalmente primavera e ci avviamo verso l'estate :-)
    Qui dal 6 giugno al 14,( ) ci sono i giochi mondiali dell'aria, forse alla chiusura andrò a scattare qualche foto :-), carissimi saluti e a presto :-)

  11. Nihal, thanks for giving us an insight to the beautiful, colorful and unique art of yazma. I hope this tradition continues.