THE CARPET REPAIRER – 2008 –
A portrait of a carpet repairer taken as he is sitting in his shop , Kaleici, Antalya, Turkey.
This is one of a series of 360-degree photographic panoramas I am shooting in the streets of the old city of Antalya for my Kaleici360 project.
I discovered this carpet repair shop at the entrance of the narrow Karanlik Street , and found the shopkeeper arranging rugs and carpets in preparation for the first customer of the day.
Initially, I set up my camera opposite the shop with the intention of doing a panorama of Karanlik Street , when I noticed the carpet repair shopkeeper watching me with interest. I couldn’t help noticing the atmosphere within his small shop and decided to go in to discover what else lay inside.
Having liked what I saw, I asked the carpet repairer for permission to take a series of photographs that would make up the panorama of the interior of his shop, to which he agreed.
As I prepared my equipment I looked around the interior noticing that the shop couldn’t be more than 16 metres square and was bursting with traditional Turkish carpets and kilims. In addition there were bags, seat covers, handmade cushions and other items hanging from the walls and taking up any remaining available space. As I made further adjustments, the shop owner kindly offered me tea, and as we sat drinking the tea we had a chat.
It transpires that the shop’s owner had come to Antalya from Ankara, and he specialised in repairing old carpets and kilims using the traditional materials, but, that he did not weave the carpets himself, and nor did he sell them.
I asked him about the paintings that I had noticed hanging on the walls, thinking that he was an artist and photographer in his spare time. But it transpired that his daughter was a painter and an art teacher, and he proudly stated that those are examples of her work.
On visiting the street several months later (looking forward to giving the old man a copy of the photographs I had taken, and to have another chat over a glass of tea) I was disappointed to find that the carpet repair shop had closed for business…