My exhibition “Floating Children” is intended to display the fragility of children in times of war.
Black and white photographs of Syrian children printed on sheer fabric are hung from the ceiling in a way to seem like they are floating in the wind. I was inspired by a Japanese woodblock from 18th century of a woman whose handkerchief and concealed letters were carried away by a sudden wind. These children can also be carried away and disappear. The transparency emphasizes their fragility. To observe a child’s delicate innocence feels weightless even under the most difficult circumstances. A feeling of lightness is what I desired to convey with the light sheer material. I collaborated with photojournalist Bryan Rutter for this exhibition.
I am hoping that this exhibition will remind the viewers that there is always something we can do to make this world better especially for children.
“Ethereal Shoes” is an installation of sculptural shoes climbing towards a window.
This exhibit is an attempt to rewrite a short section of the history of Turkish shoes. I used patterns similar to shoes worn during the 19th and 20th Century Ottoman Empire and added imaginary embellishments. The shoes are made of copper, brass, stainless steel, monel and aluminum together with materials I have gathered from around the world. The embellishment materials include fabric, crystals, pearls, metal thread, fibers, feathers, wire and mizuhiki strings.
“Ethereal Shoes” is an installation of sculptural shoes in a dream like walk from the past to the present.
Clothes from the Past
“Clothes from the Past” exhibit is the outcome of a desire to rekindle the history by recreating garments worn by women and children in Anatolia and Europe between the 17th and 19th centuries. I used traditional techniques and materials from Turkey and other parts of Asia to add embellishments to these metal dresses.
This is an attempt rewrite the story of costumes that portray the status of the people and the sophistication of a culture.
My exhibition “Words” is an invitation to listen to each other more.
Imagine what happens to words if they are not heard. The imagery I always had was that words would be floating forever in the sky or inside rooms if they are not heard. The idea behind this exhibition was born from this thought.
I asked people who they are, how they define themselves and if there is anything different they would have wanted to be. These are questions no one possibly asked them before and they are not easy to answer. Their recorded responses with an intense earnestness are the audio part of this exhibition. They are played in an overlapping and echoing manner as if the words are coming from a monologue far away in time. Remorse, pride or hope for change together with a desire to be heard is revealed in many of them.
Words Video Installation
I made a movie of my installation “Words” at the historical Dole Mansion at Crystal Lake, Illinois. The Words exhibit was an invitation to listen to each other. The movie is displayed in a gold bronze frame I created.
The movie shows the installation and the audio. The installation was of floating transparent spheres that represented words. To me words carry the weight of the meaning intended for them when they are spoken. Their meaning however is lost and they become weightless if they are not heard by another person. So I designed an installation piece consisting of weightless spheres that symbolize these spoken but unheard words floating in the sky.
The audio part consisted of words themselves which were responses to some personal questions. They are monologues accompanying the fabric spheres dance.
This installation piece is part of my exhibition “Journey of a Thousand Years” that I had in 2014. I intended to inspire the viewers to know themselves better. I made sculptures looking at their reflections in etched mirrors and in water. Because what really defines us is how we see ourselves in our “own mirrors” and the value we assess for our self-worth. This self image can be improved by valuing our talents, respecting our intelligence and acting on our beliefs and feelings. With self knowledge we also know what clears our minds, what type of work and people give us joy and satisfaction, how much pressure we can take, how to handle disappointments and frustration, why we react in a certain way. Once we discover ourselves we can fulfill our purpose in life. That is the main point.
The installation piece represents the roles we play in life and the expressions we rehearse in front of mirrors to find the right impressions.
I created this installation piece titled “Rehearsing Mirrors” to display that we sometimes play roles based on audiences or the desired personality. The roles we perform become habits and they compel us to a series of identities. People examine reactions of the audience to make sure that the appropriate impression is being created in some cases. There is no deception here. It is part of being human.
Many children and adults rehearse before a mirror trying out gestures, facial expressions until they find combinations for the right impression. Eventually these behaviors become habitual.
This piece includes golden, slatted acrylic mirrors etched with the face of a mime. The pieces are hang loosely so that our own fractured distorted images are observed and they become part of the art.