An Authentic Perspective on Women with Damla Yalçın
As a new and young member of the Art50.net family, Damla Yalçın questions in her oeuvre the roles assigned to women, where she combines her journey into her own past with images borrowed from society’s memory. We talked to Yalçın about her artistic quest, her subjects of interest and dreams for the future.
When and how did your interest in art develop?
It’s impossible for me to give you a specific date; but I can say that my interest grew as I have been receiving art education, getting to know the artists and seeing their works up close since my high school years.
Although you studied painting, you use alternative materials and a variety of sewing and embroidery techniques. How did this happen?
To question the roles assigned to women and women’s place in Turkish society, I began to use objects that belonged to or that were assumed to belong to women. I use embroidery for I think it allows me to express better what I want to express through my oeuvre.
Your compositions feature some ordinary objects from daily life like scissors, irons and chairs. What do they mean to you?
In my works I usually address those objects and places that become associated with a person’s memories throughout his or her life. For instance, in my Rooms series I aimed at bringing together moments from my past with the objects I remembered in relation to those moments, and associating them with each other. And while doing so, I tried to step outside of my individual framework and to address the issue of social memories as well.
As you have already mentioned, we can sense from your works that you are in the midst of an intense questioning on being a woman. Nowadays, both in our country and in the world at large, we often talk about how the art world attributes a secondary role to female artists, allowing them less room for visibility. What would you like to say about this issue?
As you already know, we, or women in art history, were initially the produced ones and not the producers. It’s not that easy to change this perception in such a patriarchal world system; yet I believe that gender doesn’t matter in today’s world if you’re an artist with a good body of work. Or better, I want to believe that it doesn’t.
And how about the Numune group? How did you come together? What are your objectives? Your projects so far?
It felt very exciting to produce works together and share things with each other in addition to our individual practices. We first began with discussion and reading sessions. Our first independent studio exhibition ‘Ar a lık’ of which we were also the curators, took place last year in May. It was very well received. And from now on we intend to organize studio exhibition series on an annual basis.
The artists you admire and follow?
There are many artists that I follow; Gülsün Karamustafa, Cayce Zavaglia, Youssef Nabil, Jordan Nassar, Güneş Terkol, Nur Koçak, Chiharu Shiota, Şakir Gökçebağ and Ipek Duben are among them.
How did your paths cross with Art50.net? Your views on online art platforms?
Once I became aware of Art50.net’s existence on social media, I talked to my artist friends working with them to get to know them better. In my view, online art platforms are extremely important nowadays for they’re the fastest instrument for introducing our works to our audiences.
Your projects and dreams for the future?
My future plans include enrolling in a master’s program abroad. From a broader viewpoint, on the other hand, I can say I dream of being able to produce works without worries and to have the opportunity of exhibiting them.
You may click here to browse Damla Yalçın’s works on Art50.net