Wednesday, February 24, 2010

dreams of istanbul


i wander the house, camera in hand, looking for something to photograph as my photo of the day. today, the light seemed good, so i tried for the umpteenth time to photograph the beautiful little turkish shadow puppet i bought last autumn when i was in istanbul. today, i finally got a shot i liked. one that seemed to show the luminescence of the painted leather of which the puppet is made.

i love this aspect of the 365 project, tho' i will admit i'm otherwise in the throes of a february malaise at the moment. but, the fact of the need to find something to photograph every day at times takes me on a pleasant trip down memory lane. in fact, i was quite transported by this one.

i didn't have much time in istanbul last autumn, but at nearly 10 p.m. on the one evening i had, i was wandering the streets and i happened upon a used book market near taxsim square. one of the stalls was selling these shadow puppets. i must have been so caught up in talking to the artist who made them that i didn't take any photos of the stall itself. he told me about the plays which feature characters named karagöz and hacivat. the figures are stock caricatures, but of the type that say something amusing and true about those they depict - albanians, armenians, jews, greeks, turks from anatolia and turks from instanbul. i wanted to buy a whole set of the puppets, they were so beautiful, but i settled for the one with the boat. it's from a traditional story in which karagöz and hacivat are kicked out by their wives and take a job ferrying across the bosporus.  i'll admit i was just charmed by the boat. you can read more about the turkish shadow plays here. this website is run by the artist who i bought my puppet from.

i was charmed by other sights at that market as well...






i bought a book there on ottoman navigational charts, but i'll have to save that one for another day. i'm certain to be lacking something to photograph again in the near future. but for now, i'll just go on dreaming of istanbul.

8 comments:

KLo said...

One of the reasons I love pictures so much is that there is almost always a very interesting backstory. It's true that a picture is worth a thousand words :)

Sarah said...

I'm with KLo. These are fantastic, I love!

Mandy said...

Love the book photos, so great !!!!

so NOT cool said...

The shadow puppet is pretty amazing. I never would have guessed that it was made from leather. I guess that it must be quite thin. It's really unique and beautiful.

And, goodness! All those books! One could spend days in those photos, picking through the books. Very nice.

Lisa-Marie said...

I want to go there! Look at all those books!

Barb said...

beautiful memory!

cheekyketek said...

This is you in a February malaise? Good lord. Now I'm tired.

And I'm still going to Istanbul, I promise. Spring Break!

Maria-Thérèse afiori.com said...

Those books make me drool!

I tagged you: ♥ blog.afiori.com

Will get back to you re: the art society