The Artist Gültekin Bilge was born in 1945 in the village of Ceyhan, near Paphos during a turbulent period in the history of Cyprus. In 1967, Bilge gained a place at the Istanbul Academy of Fine Arts where he graduated in 1972 with an MA in Fine Arts. During his time at the Academy he had worked in the ateliers of Devrim Erbil, Ali Çelebi and Dinçer Erimez. Bilge’s first private exhibition was held in Istanbul in 1972. During this period he was invited to go to Norway and Germany to exhibit his work. In 1973 he returned to Cyprus and started earning a living as a commercial artist, whilst continuing to paint. However, two years after graduating, he returned home where he was seriously injured during the Cyprus War and unable to paint for many years. From 1975 until 2005 he therefore worked as an art teacher also teaching woodwork, photography, pantomime, theatre and folk music. Nevertheless, Bilge never lost the drive to express himself and during the long period of recovery he “composed thousands of paintings” in his head. Finally in 2005, after a long, painful and difficult recovery he returned to painting full time.