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ST JOHN’S BASILICA: Drawing in the Wake of the Gospels


St John’s & The Citadel Longshot, Selçuk 2012
The Citadel from the Square, Selçuk 2009
Stairway to Heaven: behind the Altar at St John’s, Selçuk 2012
Inscription at the base of the Altar Stairway

Here’s how it looks from a stairway at the back of the basilica. A staircase entire, all by itself, with one turn in the stairs, roofless and leading up to nowhere. I spent a few hours in this wedge of deep shadow set in the dead white heat of late summer, sitting on marble steps scalloped by centuries of feet. A guard appeared, and I showed him my sketchbook. It was the day after Ramazan, and he was in a good mood. It’s wonderful the way people’s faces crease into smiles, seeing the drawings. This guard, Arif, saw the drawing, took me by the hand, and led me up to the Citadel. I hadn’t even known I could go up there.

Here’s a Medieval drawing of Ayasuluk: the Citadel. The walls enclose a 6000-year-old Paleolithic hill settlement. Subsequent civilizations have left artifacts still being excavated: chapels, baths, tombs.

Tomb or cistern?
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