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A Süphan on Lake Van
A Suphan for Celal -©2016 TriciVenola— Project patron Celal Ögmen grew up in this village a few decades ago. He came to Istanbul as a teenager. He stood outside a prosperous fish restaurant in Kumkapi: Kalamar, saying in to the tourists in all their languages, “Come here and eat fish.” Now he owns the restaurant and the one next door, educates his daughter in New York, is a cornerstone of local industry and a patron of the arts. One brother is a judge, the other a barrister in New York. You can do anything with brains and moxie.
Adam and Eve at Akdamar
Bible Stories in Stone
Bible Stories in Stone ©TriciVenola 2016
Few could read, so these ﬁgures proclaimed the Holy Word to all who looked on them. Absolute delight carved in red tufa, these ﬁgures are about 3/4 life-size and protrude about 4 inches from the stone blocks from which they are carved. One pictures the cartoons on paper or canvas ﬁxed to the surface of blocks that stick out farther than those above and below. They would have covered the back of the canvas with pigment and traced the drawings from the front. And then up on ladders, hacking and then tapping away, ﬁnalizing with passion and skill, patiently creating the vivid images in the tedious medium. Armenian art is all based on circles. Its testimony to the expertise of the artists that these ﬁgures carved on stone blocks are all so curvilinear. And those borders!
Father Mountain 24 April -©2016 TriciVenola —Celal wanted drawings of what he saw as a child when he climbed up this hill over the town:In one direction, the town, and in the other, this second-tallest mountain in Turkey. Everyone in town calls it Father Mountain.
Teahouse at Ulu Camii
The teahouse at Ulu Camii. Kef Kales, Adilcevaz, Lake Van. Terraces cut 3500 years ago roll up from the lake. Everyone in town knows this spot: a happy tranquil place. And you can drink the water. -©2016 TriciVenola— I spent a few hours drawing this, with a couple of interested gents from the mosque checking in now and then to see how it progressed. As I drew, groups of people drove up and sat chatting in the teahouse. This is the same view the denizens of the ancient city had, from every single house, rising in tiers up from the lake.
The Aqueduct at Süphan
A shepherd: the Aqueduct at Asagi Süphan -©2016 TriciVenola — He leaped up on the very edge of the ancient aqueduct and harangued the sheep, while all around him was glory. He did it just as I had gotten to that place in the drawing, as though it had been planned. We are in A Suphan, where project patron Celal Ögmen grew up, and he particularly asked me to draw the aqueduct. This took about an hour and a half to draw, sitting on the old stones while chickens strutted nearby. That’s Lake Van out there, and this aqueduct originally ran all the way down to it, about 4000 years ago.