I have just returned to the US after completing my Fulbright Specialist grant project at the Museum of Paper and Book Arts, Ege University, Izmir, Turkey, from Nov. 25 to Dec. 14, 2015. It was a great experience being in Turkey for the first time and having a chance to make my handmade paper artwork with plants from Izmir. I used 9 local plants in Izmir collecting the bark or leaves around Ege University campus. Staff at the Museum of Paper and Book Arts were great to help with preparing the pulp for papermaking, and local people learned the process of making paper from local plant waste materials with my modified Asian method. The 9 plants I used in Izmir were bark from mulberry, olive. ruscus, cypress, cedar and fig trees; leaves from fan palm and phoenix palm and husks from corn. Here are some photos of the papermaking process in Izmir at the Museum of Paper and Book Arts.
We set up an outdoor studio for the cooking, beating and sheet forming. I also had an indoor studio in the basement of the museum for assembling my artwork, and part of the process of creating the Izmir Site Map was done in the upstairs gallery as an Open Studio so visitors could see my work in progress. I taught papermaking workshops, gave demonstrations and provided lectures at the university for students, faculty and local artists and visiting school groups.
During this project I also created an “Izmir Site Map,” a handmade paper artwork continuing my series of map-based artworks about a particular place using materials from that place. The Izmir Site Map artwork is in the shape of the city, and I used the handmade paper I made from local plants joined with local natural thread. The Izmir Site Map is a mixed media (handmade paper, collage, painting) two-sided suspended installation. This work was donated to the Museum in Izmir and will remain on display in the contemporary gallery of the Ege University Museum of Paper and Book Art. Here are some photos of the Izmir Site Map in progress and after completion in the gallery of the Museum
My Izmir Site Map and 3 other site maps of handmade paper created in other residencies were exhibited at the EgeArt Days in Izmir at the Museum of Paper and Book Arts, Ege University, from Dec. 3 -13, 2015. I also exhibited a Taiwan Site Map (Floral Abundance) made with plants of Taiwan during my 2004-05 Fulbright artist in residency in Taiwan, my Bali Site Map created at Bali Purnati Center for the Arts in Bali, Indonesia using local plants and my Salmon River Estuary Site Map created at Sitka Center for Art & Ecology, Otis, Oregon, using local plants for the handmade paper construction. The opening reception was an exciting time with many local and international visitors. The Rector of Ege University and many students also came to the opening of my exhibition at the Museum of Paper & Book Arts.
During this Fulbright Specialist grant project in Turkey I also acted as a consultant to help the Museum plan a papermaking studio and provided educational materials about the equipment and materials for Asian style papermaking and how to continue using local plant materials for papermaking in Izmir. The local fig tree bark and the bark of the many white mulberry trees around the Ege University campus were excellent for making paper as well as the cedar and cypress tree bark. I really enjoyed the time at the Museum of Paper and Book Arts, Izmir, and the staff and Director Nedim Sanmez were great to work with. I will stay in touch with the Museum to provide additional help and hope we can plan some future collaborations.
The photos here are by my husband Timothy S. Allen http://allentimphotos2.wordpress.com
Tim accompanied me to Izmir and helped with this art project and also took many photos around Izmir and Istanbul during our time in Turkey.