Thursday, 4 January 2018
FIRST SITE (Weekly Art Project '18; Istanbul #1)
It was May 2011 & I was FINALLY in Istanbul, a place I'd had on my wish list for absolutely ages. I was almost paralytic with excitement! Two whole weeks in this ancient, magical city was such a gift, an opportunity...AND I had my first digital camera! The city was literally at our Hotel doorstep but where to start? Dodging touts trying to sell us souvenirs, postcards and guidebooks, and armed only with a map and a sense of anticipation, we ventured forth.
The pedestrianized area that in Constantine's day was known as the Hippodrome, stood before us and shooting skyward from it's centre, was an obelisk that looked somewhat out of place. Carved from pink granite, the obelisk of Thutmose lll had once graced the Temple of Karnak in Luxor, Egypt, before Emperor Theodosius had other plans for it!
I'd just been reading "Theodora" by Stella Duffy & she mentioned the owl on the obelisk. It was the first thing I noticed & has consequently stayed with me over the years.
Therefore, on resuming my weekly art practice, it was inevitable that it be my muse. This year's theme for the WAP (weekly art project) is travel and, as you may have guessed, my first destination was Istanbul! Whilst I have been looking forward to starting it, as with any discipline that requires regular practice, getting back into the routine after a break took a concerted effort!
I was so excited to see it all come together. Unusually for me, I then chose beading as my next step, as opposed to embroidery.
I am delighted with this first little piece. It cements in my mind, that first walk onto the Hippodrome, that glance up to see the owl & think of Theodora in the same place so many years before doing the very same thing!
More recently, the Obelisk of Thutmose lll has been the scene of tragedy & terror, when a group of tourists were the victims of a homicide bomber. Sorrow & joy so often walk hand in hand. This piece will force me to remember them, as well as my own wonderful memories.
* Please note that the first photo of this blog is a stock photo uploaded from Google. The rest of the photos are my own. Please respect my copyright of them.
If you enjoy travel blogs then you can read more about our adventures in Istanbul at istanbuljoy.blogspot.com.au