I visited K2 Contemporary in early August 2012. A difficult place to find or even hear about. I have a loose contact with a gallery in Istanbul that sent me the link, (a google search of 'Art Galleries Izmir' doesn't bring them up.) Thankfully I had someone familiar with the area with me, or I doubt I would've found it! So while circling the beautiful old port-side building, we spotted the sign in the window on the third floor.
The building was quite captivating, immediately I thought of 'From Russia with Love', a timeless Turkish place, standing still. Original Turkish tiles paved the long twisting corridors and an inner courtyard formed the centre of the building. This variety of corridors leads you through a hive of activity; art studios, art schools, offices, etc. An old c1920's lift, untouched by modernization enhances the scene of this bohemian building. Through our adventure of this wonderland, we came upon the Art Centre; a few rooms at the end of the corridor.
I had some great photos of this wonderful building and art space, the quirkiness of a building that has had many reincarnations through the years! Unfortunately my camera was stolen a few days later, a story for another day... *sigh
A photographic exhibition hung inside the Gallery. Probably a student show, enough said about that.
To be honest the space itself won my attention more, and I went about the space snap happy with my camera, visualizing my paintings on the walls... My partner and I discuss the work, the space, looked out the windows, examine the beautiful floors; though it's one room, we really did linger. A nice place to be.
We had a good chat with one of the staff. She filled us in on a few details about the place; the main programme won't start until September. I'll return in Autumn, I think to myself. They also put on an Triennial, the next one due to take place in 2013. She kindly gave a catalogue from 2010, which I've subsequently ploughed through hoping to get a better idea of the art scene in Izmir.
One line stands out from one of the articles; 'Izmir is a city where conservative, preservative people live, who resist the new' Borga Kanturk, pg 46.
This, I fear, surmises the art scene in the city, as I asked 'Where do I go next? Where's the other galleries?'
The answer; 'This is it! not many others really...'
That said there's something very exciting about the place, a rawness or freshness, the lack of information available about it, the rarely updated website, the singular beauty of the lone gallery. Curious.