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Interview with Artist İlknur Tunalı

Can you tell us please about yourself?

I grew up in Ankara, lived in Izmir and have been living in Antalya for the last 16 years. Childhood is the most important period of a person. Because it affects your whole life. I am lucky to be the first child and the first grandchild in my family and to be grown up with love. I wanted to mention this as a debt of gratitude.

I am a curious, open to learning, questioning and researching person. 

I have been through a long way in my career. Because my academic education ranges from health sciences to social sciences and as a graduate of more than one university I have created a wide professional field for myself.

To precise, after graduating from Hacettepe University / Radiology department, I worked in various positions in the health field. At the same time, I studied to get a degree at Istanbul University in Emergency Aid Disaster Management, at Anadolu University in Public Administration and Anadolu University in Philosophy. Although they may seem different from each other, I think that every University I have attended and the fact that I have been a good reader for as long as I can remember, have added a lot to my life and art, and that professionalization in one field facilitates the competences of other fields.

How did you start painting?

My engagement with painting started when I was a child. I continued to paint in the young age and while my working life as well. Knowledge of human anatomy helped me learning about the human body, and knowledge of the philosophy of art, aesthetics and the history of philosophy helped me create the intellectual infrastructure of my painting. I studied drawing and visual expression, pattern and color in the workshop of artist and academician Ali Rıza Kırkan.

My paintings were published in Psikeart magazine, which I have been following personally for a long time. My first international individual exhibition was held in Detmold, Germany.

3. Could you please describe your art?

Philosophy forms the intellectual basis of my art.  I consider nothing that is human alien to me. This is my journey of self-realization. My journey to understand human beings, to analyze the past and at the same time give a hand to the future. My starting points were science and philosophy, and now with the art I question the existential transformation of various forms in the light of these in my works.

At the beginning, I was influenced by impressionists, but at the meantime I continue with abstract works. I abstract objects by constructing them with my own perception.  Following my inner insights I tend to work with blue and orange pair. I may use different techniques and colors as well, but at the end of the day I always return to the orange and blue.  Acting outside the traditional rules, helps reflect my emotions. I allow myself to express freely and this offers me a wide playground from the way I use the material to the composition I construct. Subjectivity also brings visibility. For example, one can percept sadness in the “Talking heads” I make.

4. What are your plans?

Usually I make short-plans for the near future and long going ones for the distant future.

I think that art exhibitions are a ground for human interactions, meetings, conversations and a motivating source afterwards. I was especially happy that famous Turkish historian, professor and author – Ilber Ortayli, together with mayor of Muratpasha district – Umit Uysal,  honored my exhibition titled “Perceptions” at the Antalya Museum with his presence. By the way, this display will continue to host its guests until January 31.

Turkish historian, professor and author - Ilber Ortayli &  Mayor of Muratpasa district – Umit Uysal
Turkish historian, professor and author – Ilber Ortayli & Mayor of Muratpasa district – Umit Uysal

However, I am already excited to prepare a new display at other places; for example, I am working to exhibit my paintings in national and international venues. Ecological sustainability – is one pf the topics that interests me, and now I feel like I should spend more time on this.

There is always a “talking head” inside me. I mean there is always a subject that I cannot stop myself from thinking about. So, ecological sustainability is what we face in this century, and what can I do as an artist with what the age has to offer? I am trying to paint it.

Art dreams, science implements.

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