“Art will never be able to save the world!”
On the contrary to what your works show, you are a new artist. How did it all start?
I studied Fine Arts in Konya and moved to Istanbul on my own, rented my house and started living here. At first I had to work in some agencies at that time to pay my rent but then I quit them all and just started making art. But the transition wasn’t that quick of course, as I didn’t know how to approach galleries and I didn’t know anyone in the art industry. I worked in Birsen Cambaz’s studio in Çukurcuma, which was a great experience for me to really decide what I wanted. After that I bought my first ceramics oven and rented my studio. Then I started making art in my studio and I used to give ceramic lessons to cover my expenses and later on, life brought me to this day. I will be opening my 2nd solo at PG Art Gallery on the 20th of December!
How did your path cross with PG Art Gallery?
Actually it all started through Instagram. I was following Kerem Ozan Bayraktar and at that time I sent a portfolio to PG Art Gallery. They hadn’t replied yet until Kerem suggested my name for a group show. Later on they called me and I met with Pırıl Güleşçi Arıkonmaz and that’s how my journey started. I’m very happy to be working with her. She has such an amazing energy, she gives me courage and when I get stressed over my work, she cools me down. It was all more like a coincidence and less of a plan.
Your next solo is in a few days. Will you be showing the wild animals mating?
No my next solo will only be on porcelain flies. I will be showing exactly 15,000 houseflies at the show. For this show I also made gold, bronze and silver flies too.
Wow, that’s enough to be called an obsession.
Yes, I agree I’m obsessed. It took me around 5-6 months to make 15,000 houseflies all by hand. I am generally obsessed with figures in small sizes and focusing on all the little details.
Flies are not the type of insects we love. Most people are disgusted by them, as they generally are seen around trash and litter. They are small, little animals that have no strength in nature that’s why they are seen invaluable. They can carry diseases and they make a very disturbing sound.
But my flies are exceptionally clean. They are pure white in color. So in a sense, I am placing the fly in a higher segment in the food chain and I’m giving him a more noble like identity with the use of gold silver and bronze.
Do you still have to give ceramic lessons to cover your expenses or are your artworks doing a good job?
I still give ceramic lessons on Monday evenings in my studio, it’s more of a hobby now for me and for the people who come too. Yes, I earn money from making art and slowly its all going the direction I always wanted it to go. We are receiving calls from collectors requesting a preview of the show. I really got good feedback especially about the flies during Contemporary Istanbul. All of this makes me very happy.
In Di Caprio’s documentary, “Before the Flood”, we see that humanity has ruined its own environment. And scientists claim that the deer and the fly have a high chance amongst other insects and animals, to survive after humanity. What’s your take on this possibility as an artist who uses both animals in her works?
That’s so interesting, I didn’t watch the documentary yet. But the wild animal series is called “Life goes on” and it focuses on life after humanity. Since I was a kid I’ve always questioned and tried to face the fact that a day will come and life will go on without me. When you look at the world from a further distance you see that we are these little unimportant creatures and life existed with animals before us and surely will afterwards too. So all of these thoughts ended up in a series of porcelain animals mating. But it’s interesting how it coincides with the documentary.
Do you think creativity is a gift from God or do you think it’s a DNA heritage?
I don’t think it’s a DNA heritage but neither do I believe in God. I think creativity is instinctual it comes from within and it goes back to when we were born but its not from the genes. It comes from a more spiritual part of us.
What is your dream world like?
My dream world is calm, clean and more entangled to my dreams. More like my own fairytale world with clay. I’m always playing with clay.
What do you think is the biggest mystery of the universe?
Whether or not my soul exists and whether it will continue to exist in other dimensions after my body dies.
Would you want your soul to exist and continue to exist in other dimensions?
I would yes but my mind says it’s not possible. I have a huge dilemma on this subject and I’ve been thinking about it for a long time.
What about the body, why can’t humans manage to be happy in life?
I think it’s because our instincts lead us to consuming and we have an uncontrollable need to always want more. Unlike animals we feel we have to save up and stock – piles of everything even though we don’t need it. It’s very difficult to get rid of these instincts of ours. Although we understand its wrong we cannot control it. And we just go on with it.
This is similar to how we get caught up in social media. Although it doesn’t make sense at all, we can only prove our real identity if we have a social media account.
Yes exactly. You try to run away from it but it sucks you in. Whether you like it or not you become a piece of it. Because it’s so fast and you have to keep up with it.
What is it that we are trying to keep up with?
The speed of everything changing around us. You feel if you don’t keep up, you will be forgotten.
What is your happiness in life?
Happiness is, existing by getting rid of all the darkness in my mind.
How do you get rid of your darkness?
I try to be happy although I know the darkness is there.
So you are actually accepting it?
Not really, it’s more like insisting on happiness “even though” the darkness is there by changing your perspective towards the darkness. “Accepting” makes me feel weaker.
Does, knowing that your life has an ending one day, make you feel more carefree towards life or more enthusiastic to live everyday to its fullest?
I think I’m more carefree and live life as it comes along. When something great happens I’m happy but I would be ok even if it hadn’t happened. I live without high expectations and just go with the flow.
What about art, where do you position art in your life?
I’m lucky that my path crossed with the right people and I’m earning money from what I love doing. Of course I have plans for the future with my work but I cannot say I’m a super ambitious person. I feel it will all come along in its own flow. But no matter what I will never stop creating because art makes me feel good and that’s why I do it.
Do you think art will save the world?
Art will never be able to save the world. Because “art” is not strong enough to save the world. The world is too big of a darkness itself.