Defne Tesal and Murat Yildiz are visual artists living and working in Istanbul, Turkey. Tesal works with the line, in both 3D and 2D. Her main materials are yarn and rope and her works are site-specific installations, embroidered on fabric and implemented in 3D using 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. She has worked with the concept of memory and followed her strong urge to record and document. Tesal holds a Bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the Mimar Sinan University in Istanbul.
Yildiz is a multidisciplinary artist. His works range from large, detailed, meditative, abstract drawings to realistic, expressive embroidery portraits and game installations in which the viewer becomes a participant. Yildiz is at his best when he is developing new ideas. He is interested in seeing and experiencing reality. He tries simultaneously to be as subjective and as objective as he can. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the Yildiz Technical University in Istanbul.
Tesal and 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.
Defne Tesal’s Notebooks series documents her time in Ii. Her artistic activities included observing, taking notes on 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. Notebooks also includes drawings and photographs taken by her to document these situations. In addition, Tesal created 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. 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.