Hagia Sophia has stood over 1,400 years as one of the significant achievements of human ingenuity, creativity, and dedication. If you had a chance to enter the Great Church, you would remember the sense of awe the space emanates. The immense space is crowned by one of the largest unsupported domes in the world, and the architectural wonder is decorated with magnificent paintings, mosaics, and the like.
I had the extraordinary privilege to climb to the center of its dome (in an elevator of course) and even to touch the very center of it, caressed the gold mosaics around the windows and the dome ribs which gave me the sensation as if I was shaking hands with the artisans who laid them there centuries ago. From that vantage point I took a large number of photographs and exhibited them in Cleveland, Providence, and Boston.
A couple of years ago I was invited to visit Panagia Isodion church at Galatasary in the center of Istanbul. As immense as Hagia Sophia was, Panagia Isodion was the exact opposite, small, diminutive, but gleaming with decoration after a very careful cleaning and restoration. I spent a good amount of time there photographing the jewel-like church with a mesmerizing quality. You can see some of the small digital photographs in a related post.
In November you will get a chance to see selected photographs from both of these collections in the exhibit “Sacred Spaces Large and Small: Hagia Sophia & Panagia Isodion” at the Central Congregational Church in Providence. If you have seen my Hagia Sophia collection at one of the exhibits, you will see new interpretations of them with an entirely new printing technique. Of course, the Panagia Isodion collection will be shown for the first time. All photographs will be printed using dye sublimation on aluminum which will do justice to the mesmerizing qualities of these churches.
Mark your calendars to visit the exhibit:
Sacred Spaces Large and Small: Hagia Sophia & Panagia Isodion
Photographs by A. Cemal Ekin
November 5 – December 3, 2014
Central Congregational Church – 296 Angell St. – Providence, RI
Hours: 9 – 11 AM and 1 – 4 PM each weekday
Reception and Gallery Talk: November 7, 2014 5:30 – 7:30 PM