First published: Summer 1999
Ody Saban was born in Istanbul of Sephardic Jewish parents. Before the Second World War, Ody's parents had been fairly wealthy, but the property of all Jews in Istanbul, like that of the Greeks and Armenians, was confiscated in 1941. Her parents were divorced when she was five and her mother remarried to a Moslem who was a well-known miniature and china restorer. He was also a musician and poet and greatly influenced Ody's artistic development.
A lonely but imaginative child, Ody created a play world of her own, talking and singing to exotic objects around the house. Ody tells of this experience. 'To me it seems that in myself, the woken dreams, spontaneous imagination, and semi-controlled hallucinations have developed rather than lessened with age. I continue to practice my childhood games almost constantly, and more intensely, but in a visual and interiorized manner.'