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Zehra Şonya
EMU Art Coordinator 

Establishing art collections and starting museum works in future within the body of Eastern Mediterranean University both mean realizing a long-awaited dream. The “Visual Arts Archive Project” that we initiated in 2002 with the artists, catalogues – books and exhibitions was beneficial for us in creating a suitable ground. In artwork selections received as donations through protocols settled with artists, our preference is art-works which present information on the process of the artist and periodical features. Another key point we focus on during the art selections is to choose art-works that provide a broad perspective including sketching. Some artists fulfill our expectations; on the other hand, others prefer to provide art-works in line with their own artistic styles.

Following the processes of an artist through his/her art-work is valuable from educational perspectives as well as being able to trace information on the artists’ improvements and changes with respect to recording, analyzing and presenting such information. Moreover, we believe that with the help of different samples and art-works to be added to the collection within years, many other undiscovered art-works will come to light generating a source for interesting studies and exhibitions.

The relationship and bond created with the artists during the process is as important as the collection itself. We find the interviews with the artists and, exchanging ideas and problems etc. important. Such information on the process sheds light on how the project should proceed. Enriching and improving this bond, that we wish to maintain with new projects and activities, are among our aims. Even if we are still at the beginning process, we had come a long way within a short time by virtue of the trust of our artists in us. In addition to the trust, we believe that we will obtain tangible data within short time with the faith and valuable support of the EMU Rector’s Office on the project.

Zehra Şonya
EMU Art Coordinator  




Derya Ulubatlı
Art Historian 

The Northern part of Cyprus is home to very successful artists, but unfortunately important challenges are faced in the introduction and promotion of these artists’ names both within their own community and in the international platform.Established under the initiative of the Eastern Mediterranean University Center for Cyprus Studies and consisting of the works of artists living in the northern part of Cyprus, EMU Art Collection aims to make up for the absence of an indispensable value in educational institutions and, at the same time, bring the values of the society to a wider audience through a museum, and other publishing tools including a website, book and catalogue.

As it is in the ethnic structure of the Turkish Cypriot community, there are many different approaches in their artistic styles. In 1960s, the community had artist candidates who went to different countries including Turkey, England and America to pursue their studies at art academies and other educational institutions. However, the war and communal crisis between the years 1963 and 1974 postponed the realisation of art as an intellectual activity to the post-1974 period. With the influence of living in a closed society, each artist started to develop his/her own unique style. Especially after 1990, a new period involving the experimentation of new techniques and styles started and it was during this fast period that the artists managed to catch up with the era.

When analysed with a consideration of the aforesaid facts, this collection, which contains an array of artwork including pieces from traditional approaches to new techniques, from Cyprus-focused paintings to individual subjects, and from figurative compositions to abstractions, brings together artists from different styles and periods under the same roof in the quest of providing a general overview of the art of Cyprus. In the collection, it is both possible to observe and analyse the artistic interactions of artists who have had a teacher and student relationship as well as unique attitudes with rare examples.As an important step for the recording of the art production in the country in a visual and written manner, EMU Art Collection gives us the possibility to analyse the development of visual arts in the Turkish Cypriot Community from different dimensions and with examples from different fields including painting, sculpture, installation and graphic design from 1980s to date.

Derya Ulubatlı
Art Historian