TURKEY / 2021
SECTION OF DRESS: Reverse Tulip
A motif from a powerful story.
Kirstie met Secil at an exhibition of the Red Dress at the Connect Centre in Wells, Somerset. Sitting alongside the garment, Secil stitched a small tulip motif on to a piece of red felt and handed it to me whilst explaining the fascinating story behind it - originating from her home in Edirne, Turkey. Please listen above.
Below is my researched account with the exact names and dates of the unique story.
In 1568 the Ottoman Sultan II commissioned Architect Mimar Sinan to create him a beautiful and unique masterpiece. At 90 years old, the Selimiye Mosque in Edirne was to be Sinan’s last creation and became one of the most important works of both Mimar Sinan and Ottoman architecture.
Inside the mosque there is an inverted tulip motif on one of the interior marble columns. According to the legend, there was a tulip garden on the plot where the mosque was built. The lady who owned the land did not initially want to sell it to the Sultan, but after many discussions she finally agreed as long as Sinan honour her by creating a tulip motif inside the mosque.
The architect Sinan did as she asked although made the tulip motif in reverse (upside down) due to her being so difficult!
Every year, the tulip is said to fall further and further down the column – and it is believed that when the tulip reaches the bottom of the column it will be the end of the world.
To contact Secil for commissions, please connect with Kirstie at email@example.com to put you in touch directly.