January 2001 The Strategic Review Group organised this Anglo-Turk collaboration bringing together English artist Ned Pamphilon and The Lutfi Kirdar Conference and Exhibition Centre to produce:
ATATURK GULUMSUYOR - ATATURK SMILES
“Let’s paint a hero of cinematic proportions, the stuff of legends, the type of story one might think a little far-fetched had it not actually happened.
Add the passion of Van Gogh, the modernity of Andy Warhol and the energy of Rolf Harris, raise a glass and look into those blue eyes. Then wish in the possibility of that familiar stern profile gently cracking to the beginnings of a smile.
We can all dream; he did and a nation was born – dreams are what the real stuff’s made of!”
Ned Pamphilon 2001
Ataturk Gulumsuyor, a painting donated to The I.C.E.C. by NPP, treats a traditional image of the founder of The Turkish Republic with a contemporary style.
Possibly the largest (3.5m x 2m) original Ataturk portrait of its type, this welcome addition of colour and grandeur to the main foyer of the Lutfi Kirdar complex keeps it up-to-date with new neighbour, The Rumeli Fair and Exhibition Hall, thanks largely to the foresight of I.C.E.C. General Manager Orhan Sanus.
Ataturk was very aware of his public profile and veered toward a serious image portraying his serious intentions. In this case, however, the artist has captured a rare glimpse of the man with a smile in his eyes and his heart – the real Ataturk. It is perhaps poetic irony that an Englishman should produce Ataturk Gulumsüyor and this may be viewed as another small yet positive step forward in Anglo-Turk relations.
Ataturk’s image is a powerful one symbolising a vision of national unity, education, art, science and liberty for both man and womankind alike. He paid keen attention to literature, music, fashion and the arts and fully appreciated the innovations and philosophies inspired by such:
“A nation without art has lost one of its lifelines” Ataturk c.1923
ATATURK GULUMSUYOR is dedicated to Christopher Lawrence