​ Our​ ​Lady​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Stairs​

Our Lady of the StairsChin up, dignity intact, this well-respected lady has sold tissues around the Spice Bazaar for years. Her gentle smile and proffered pack of tissue are a welcome contrast to the importunate whines of peddlers and professional street beggars. Here she sits in the old entrance to the Eminonu Tram Stop, her crutch neatly wedged between the handrail and the wall. It’s cold wet winter, and she’s sitting on plastic over cardboard, well wrapped up in a heavy skirt and a clean sweater. She’s got her water bottle and her packs of tissue and her change and her spit-in-the-eye spirit, and I have always loved her. I believe we are the same age. She didn’t want to sit still for a drawing, but allowed me to take her picture, which I used to create this portrait. The government remodeled the tram stop and closed this stairway just after I drew her. I haven’t yet found her new spot, and I miss her.

Place: Spice Bazar, Eminönü, Istanbul (Turkey)

Date: 2013

Author: Trici Venola

Author presentation: Artist from Los Angeles, Trici emerges from the digital creation. In 1999, she returned to paper and pencil and settled in Turkey. Since then, she has been drawing the ancient ruins of the Ottoman basin before it is too late …

Return to the Culture Zoom