Eklisia is an art centre located in a Byzantine church in Gümüslük, and is run as a non-profit organisation by the founder/director Mesut Pekergin, and Christel Roelans as codirector/curator.
Gümüslük is a small fishing village situated on the south-west coast of Turkey, in an area of great historical heritage and unspoilt natural beauty. Eklisia's aim is to offer the space and its location as a source of inspiration for visiting artists.
Founded in 1990, Eklisia has evolved from being a local gallery and concert hall into a multi-cultural meeting place, with activities spanning a variety of media in fine arts and performing arts.
Through the organisation of international artist residencies, Eklisia seeks to redefine the value of art and the role it plays in society. Today, the majority of art activity takes place within the context of a metropolitan structure, and evolves around its associations, people, academies, musea, galleries, art critics, art collectors, art dealers and artist dealers. Metropolitan life in itself presents artists with a vast amount of inspirational sources, but at the same time the demanding structural organisation on which they have to rely leaves little room for independence, and it is exactly this characteristic that tends to put a lot of pressure on the artists.
Artist residencies at Eklisia represent the creation of art outside any context, where the only given factor is in the first place the artists themselves. Eklisia is the home for creative projects, and its given location provides an optimal condition to re-trace and revaluate the roots of our existence: nature and history. The international context of artist residencies aim to reflect the character of art, which is, after all, universal. Eklisia defines its mission by placing the created works on the imaginary map of contemporary art activity.