London Art Biennale 2013
Click to view my VIDEO of the London Art Biennale.
My artwork KISS OF HOPE was selected to exhibit in the London Art Biennale 2013. This international exhibition took place on 23 – 26th January 2013 in Chelsea Old Town Hall where 140 Artists from 40 different countries exhibited their works. KISS OF HOPE expresses my feeling that the world needs hope and positive actions in the face of negativity and conflict. It is a metaphor carrying the message that maybe there is hope for my own homeland, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and for other areas of the world where people’s lives are caught up in difficult political circumstances that are beyond their control. The carved faces on the outside of the image are looking away, representing those who won’t try to understand other points of view. The faces looking forward are those who simply hope for a better future.
The kissing faces inside represent those who try to work with others; even when they face difficult circumstances, they take an active role in making a better future by trying to find a way to move forward. I put four sets of faces in this painting, because I wanted to say that the message in the Kiss of Hope applies to individuals, families, and countries who face difficult and challenging circumstances. It is also a message for the whole world. We all need to wake up and hear it. The artwork is constructed of carved cedar wood. I purchased a tree in the mountains in Turkey and had it sliced, dried, planed, sanded before carving the image and then preparing the surface for painting. It took about 18 months to dry and prepare the wood. During that time I planned the artworks and prepared sketches.
The carved wood paintings are very different and received a lot of interest. Many people were interested to hear about the meaning behind the painting, about the construction of the artwork and about the techniques used.
I was delighted to receive an “Honourable Award for Artistic Merit”. Particularly because this was the first time I had shown any of my works in the UK
We enjoyed our time in London. The organisers of the Biennale, Gagliardi Gallery put on a number of collateral events for the artists. This included a cocktail party at their gallery on the King’s Road and a boat trip on the River Thames, which offered beautiful views of London from the river.
It was good to meet so many other artists. I made many good friends and good contacts. Several of them have been to visit us in Scotland since the Biennale.
I was happy to discover that a number of other Turkish Artists (above) were also represented at the Biennale. I enjoyed exchanging thoughts and ideas about the art in my own language. We also spent many hours walking up and down the King’s Road and made several visits to Saatchi Gallery.
There were some very interesting exhibits in the gallery. We had to go several times to get around everything we wanted to see. There was an exhibition of Soviet Art and another of Russian Street Photography. Some of these were very thought provoking and provided a disturbing commentary on aspects of life in Russia. For myself, I took some great photographs of hidden faces that I could see in the tree barks in the grounds in front of the gallery. These are the faces I conceal in my artworks, that I call The Art Of Concealment. These images are already imprinted in my brain and they will soon find their way into my future artworks.