Interview with Gözde Başkent
Gözde Başkent draws attention with her authentic style and her conceptual viewpoint emphasizing nature-human relationship. We talked to Başkent, who has recently joined us, about her artistic practice.
In your paintings you generally depict women. How do you interpret the connection between woman and nature? Are you interested in mythology? Where do you find inspiration?
The human beings’ distance with nature constitutes the essence of my works. I create compositions referring to the idea that everything is part of one single whole and each being is essentially made of the same material. While handling the relationship the individual establishes with his or her surroundings and concepts considered important for humanity, the figure becomes the central element in the painting. The figure I use in my paintings is a symbol I use to represent the humankind, and as the paintings’ narrator, I can relate more easily to a woman and thus these figures are usually women. The unkown and undiscovered majority of the universe, science, cultures and beliefs based on nature, natural history museums, prehistoric life/clans, abandoned places are amongst my leading subject matters.
You like working on wood. Does this have to do with your works’ conceptual framework?
I work with wood and canvas but compared to the canvas, wood offers an alternative working space; it can direct the painting. The tree’s texture, its life, its flaws become part of the painting. It also requires an attitude different from canvas as material. It allows for less freedom but it is very suitable for detailed work.
We may argue that some of your works have sculptural characteristics. Do you like sculpture? Do you want to create any?
I am always open to experimenting with different materials and I love sculpture as a viewer; but sculpture is another discipline and I think you need to reach a certain level of mastery to create works of that kind. Installations in my most recent exhibition were important for me in terms of experiencing working with 3 dimensional works. Trying new materials allows me approach the subject from a new angle. I think I will keep on creating works of similar nature.
In what ways did you benefit from your Bologna experience?
I went there during my graduate studies via Erasmus Program. My M.F.A. thesis was on the relationship between contemporary painting and illustration. Although its painting workshops were not as fruitful, the Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna is a school with extensive opportunities in illustration and print. Here I had the chance to take illustration courses, which was something I couldn’t do at my own school. Receiving criticism and portfolio evaluation from various instructors with different approaches during this period had an impact on my later work. In addition, Italy has a very important place in art history. Bunun dışında İtalya sanat tarihi içinde çok önemli bir yere sahip. The opportunity to see many museums and seminal artworks is in itself a benefit.
Who are your favorite artists from Turkey and the world?
I try to follow many artists; it is hard for me to name a few. I particularly enjoy looking at the works of artists affiliated with pop-surrealism, street art and illustration.
From an art-historical perspective,which historical period would you have chosen to live in if you had the chance?
Circa between 1450 and 1550, in Italy or the Netherlands.
How did you meet Art50?
It was one of the channels through which I followed the art scene. From the artists’ viewpoint, it is a great source of motivation that the artworks reach their audiences. I am pleased to have found the opportunity for collaboration.
Click to visit the artist’s page.