I don’t know about you but here at Skattie we are always consumed by wanderlust. So whenever we hear that friends are busy travelling the globe, we ambush them the moment they come back for their holidays snaps. You might remember this piece we did with Unathi Mkonto when he came back from his Venice/Paris trip two weeks ago. This time around, our victim was dear friend of SKATTIE, artist Alice Toich. She’s spent the last couple of months on an artist residency is Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey. Below are her pics and her words.

“It is everything all at once… and restraint. Towers of glistening baklava dripping in honey, around the corner from dirty crumbling buildings. A skyline like I have never seen, punctuated in bubbling mosque domes, and tapering into elegant candle stick minarets.”


“The light in the afternoon is often purple. Bathing the city in the misty haze that makes you subscribe to all the sensationalist tales of the Sultans who ruled over the city during the Ottoman Empire.”


“It is so difficult to sum up, because everything about the Turkish culture seems to concentrate on expansiveness. The tea tea times are lengthy, the coffee is strong and the famous Turkish hospitality is so generous it oft saw me through the day without having to pay much for either one.”


“I have recently collected a new word; ‘sybarite’ which I have frankly been abusing … like a sybarite. Accordingly to the wordsmiths it is defined as: a person who is self-indulgent in their fondness for sensuous luxury. And how can I not love that there is a word to justify me? And there are so many THINGS to love in Turkey! Thick cotton cloths, the Persian carpets, the helva (!), the Turkish Delight, the leather shoes, the jewelry, the fresh cut flowers, the helva, the scarves, the silk, the ceramics bowls, the tea sets, and did I mention the helva? “

Inside printVibes

“I worked on scene sketching, portraits of the people I met and also managed to cook up an ephemeral paper installation to go with all the pieces on the opening night of the exhibition which was shown for 2 weeks.The residency block at Maumau was a simply but elegantly furnished 4 story building in the Beyoğlu district on the border of Cihangir and Cukurcuma ( the antique/collectables district of Istanbul). There were two other visual artists staying with me, a Norwegian ice-sculpture called Elisabeth who stayed on my floor and Maryam, an Iranian photographer and abstract painter staying above us with the writers.”


“Being my first ever artist-in-residence experience I was pretty much blown away with the sense of connection that was instantaneously forged between the artists and myself as we begun to discover a new place together while working side-by-side in the studio on the top floor.”


“The men were equally tailored, sporting snob-beards that would bring the most hardcore leather-clad Capetonian hipster to grovel in awe. The Turkish men know upkeep and with that amount of hair, it takes a mini army to seduce into shape. But oh… did they seduce.”


“With that all said I have only one thing left to say. YOU SHOULD GO TO TURKEY. Turkey, as one of the very meagre amount of countries on the green mumbo’s “no-visa-required-to-visit” lists it’s probably the top of mine. I regret nothing about my trip, not even my now unquenchable caffeine dependency problems.”

Follow Alice’s adventures on instagram @alive_toich

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