Defne Tesal and Murat Yildiz (TUR), 10–12/2016

Defne Tesal and Murat Yildiz are visual artists living and working in Istanbul, Turkey.

Defne Tesal, born in 1985, works with the line both in 3D and in 2D. Her main materials are the yarn and rope. Her works are in-situ installations, embroidered on fabric and implemented in 3D with a mixture of techniques. She is interested in involving the viewer and creating a shared experience, searching for ways to express juxtaposing situations which contain opposite feelings, both positive and negative. Lately, she has worked with the concept of memory and followed her strong urge to record and document. She has had two solo exhibitions in Turkey and one in France. Tesal holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the Mimar Sinan University in Istanbul, and she has participated in the SVA Artist Residency Program in New York.

Murat Yildiz, born in 1984, is a multidisciplinary artist. His works range from detailed, meditative, abstract, large drawings to realistic, expressive embroidery portraits and game installations in which the viewer becomes a participant in literature. Yildiz is at his best when he develops new ideas. He is interested in seeing and experiencing reality. He tries simultaneously to be as subjective and as objective as he can. He has had two solo exhibitions in Istanbul, and he holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Yildiz Technical University in Istanbul.

Defne Tesal and Murat Yildiz held a small, joint exhibition of their Ii projects towards the end of their residency at KulttuuriKauppila. They wished to share their completed work and work processes  with local people. Both artists worked on projects involving concepts of time, memory and traces as well as the production of sensory art.

Tesal’s “Notebook” series documents her time in Ii. Her artistic activities included her observing, taking notes of and recording sounds of daily routines such as eating and meeting people as well as natural events and cycles such as sunrises and sunsets, temperatures and moon phases. “‘Notebook” also contains drawings and photographs taken by her to document the situations. In addition, Tesal created a set of works titled “‘Dream Sequence”, which is a series of small works, weaving together her dreams and intended to be continued even after her residency. Finally, Tesal put together a piece she calls ”Memory Bricks”, in which she used all types of materials she gathered while staying in Ii – things that remind her of Ii. She used the various materials, mixing them with plaster to make bricks, memory bricks.

Murat Yildiz showed his drawings on paper: large, detailed and meditative. He also implemented a project in which he collected impressions of Ii. He distributed 48 blank A5 sheets around the town of Ii. These blank sheets were scattered around: in supermarkets, schools, the residence, under stones, underground, and in the river. At the end of the residency, he collected the sheets to present the work ”Traces of Ii” in his exhibition at the KulttuuriKauppila Art Centre. Yildiz took the sheets with him to Istanbul to make an art book from them.

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