By Mudassir Raja
Katara in co-operation with the Istanbul Intercultural Dialogue IKASD and Mazaya company recently opened the art exhibition named ‘The Horse is Turk’s Wings’ in building 18. The opening ceremony was attended by HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani, Katara general manager Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim al-Sulaiti, and Turkish ambassador Fikret Ozer along with other dignitaries.
The works of Ayten Caglar, Turkish artist who spent 10 years studying the Turkish horses, closely reflect the beauty of the majestic creatures and their importance for the Turkish nation.
As many as 23 paintings are on display focusing on the horses in the Ottoman era and the love Sultans had for the horses. There are paintings that highlight different breeds of Turkish horses and their beauty. The exhibition will run until February 26.
Talking to Community, Ayten said: “I grew up in an area where they used to bread different horses. My native area is close to Bursa city and it has different horse fields. All my works are in oil paints. I have been working on this project of preparing horse paintings for eight years. I gathered all necessary information about all sorts of horse breeds. Then, I translated my knowledge into paintings. The horse breeds, portrayed in the exhibition, also come from Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and other areas. Some of my paintings show the memories of the Turkish Sultans and how they used to love and care for their horses. One of the Sultans died on his horse back. Another Sultan built a palace in memory of his horse after the animal died.”
About the Arabian and Turkish horses, the artist said: “The two breeds are different biologically. The Turkish horses mainly come from cold areas. They can resist any kind of weather. The Arabian horses are used to the desert climate only. There are over 500 breeds of Turkish horses. It is very common in Turkish culture to raise a horse. They mix different breeds. People continue to create new breeds. Some of the race horses are actually being preserved also. The Turkish people mostly like to have Rahwan horses. They are war horses and not race horses. The famous Beverly Hills horses in UK are originally from Turkey. Some Sultans also used to keep Arabian horse.”
Speaking about her technique, she said: “These are mainly oil paintings. I have also used mix media. All paintings are on canvass. I am a Turkey-based artist. This is my first exhibition in Doha. I have organised many exhibitions in different parts of Turkey. In one of my recent exhibitions, over 15, 000 people visited the gallery. I am very happy and excited to be in Qatar. I am happy to present my works to all art lovers in Qatar. It is not one project but a process.”
Turkish ambassador Fikret Ozer said: “I am very happy to open the horse exhibition. Horses are an essential part of our lives. There is special sensitivity for horses both in Turkey and in the Arab world. The Turk Sultans were real lovers of the horses. When I was a child, we also had a horse in our village. The artistry and subject of the painter is very good. The paints are very bright and colourful. The paintings also tell the story of the shining Ottoman Empire.
“Katara is a very important place for art and cultural activities. Dr Khalid has always been very helpful for organising the art activities. I also thank him for providing the opportunity to the artist. Qatar and Turkey not only co-operate in political and economic fields, but also in cultural events and this exhibition is an example of the cultural co-operation between the two nations.”
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