After several years as an online exhibition due to the Covid pandemic, the annual Turkish Community Art Exhibition is back as an in-person event and now open for viewing at the Yunus Emre Institute in London.
This year’s exhibition features 70 pieces of art by 49 Turkish artists in Britain. They were selected from ore than 100 submissions made by over 60 artists, both professional and amateur.
The jury comprised of four prominent Turkish artists in Britain — Nilay İşlek, Nagihan Seymour, Terry Katalan and Sümer Erek — who had the difficult task of assessing which submissions will go on display in the 2023 exhibition.
Their choices result in a visual feast for the eyes; these diverse pieces of artwork, using different mediums and techniques, are all produced to a very high standard.
Many are in the form of paintings, each one with a vivid style and memorable subject. Some are extremely lifelike, while others highly abstract or surreal, produced using oil, acrylic or water paints.
There are also sculptures, video art, photographs, and traditional Turkish art forms through ebru (marbling), calligraphy, and tezhip (illumination).
One set of artworks on display was produced with a traditional typewriter! Another is the extraordinary work of Hanife Kiatip, known as ‘Hanni’ to family and friends, who finds release in her abstract art despite being non-verbal and suffering from extreme athetoid cerebral palsy.
Several made reference to the earthquake, or other significant topical social and political issues, such as identity and migration.
The exhibition as a whole is an excellent showcase of the inventiveness and creative talents of the artists that exist in the UK’s growing Turkish community.
The opening of this year’s Turkish Community Art Exhibition, which occurred on 5 May, was delayed for several months due to the devastating earthquake in Turkiye in February.
Many of the featured artists attended the preview night with family and friends, where they were presented with a certificate confirming their participation in the event.
The exhibition remains open until 25 May and everyone is welcome to visit. The artwork can also be viewed online, which includes details about each piece and the artists behind them – see below for the link.
The 49 featured artists for Turkish Community Art Exhibition 2023, in alphabetical order, are: Abdullah Harun İlhan, Ali Ergin, Ardıç Aguş, Ayfer Hakkı, Aylin Çalım, Aynur Elif Boyraz, Ayşe Kongur, Ayşe Özlem Yüksel, Bahar Ulus, Demet Tokbay, Derya Harman, Erdal Çetin, Eylül Özmen Yüksel, Fatma Karaer, Feten Ben Dhieb Sahin, Gita Serin, Gizem Gözde Uçar, Gültekin Uzuner, Gyula Bela Lunczner, Hanife Kiatip, Hatice Gür, Küb-ra Kırca Demirbağa, Lyubov Kiradjieva, Mehmet Özmen, Melissa Vipritska-ya Topal, Memed Turkmen, Merve Kah-raman, Metin Salih, Mevlüde Yalçın, Mine Bayar, Müge Kay-makçan Koçak, Nida Yanıkoğlu Çergel, Nur Akyıldız, Ramazan Ekrem Öztürkmen, Refie Nureddin Rufi, Sa-san Sahafi, Senem Peace, Şerife Orak, Serpil Çalışkan, Sevda Uykan, Sevim Çakır, Sıla Şen, Tanya Harison, and Yasemin Öztürk.
The exhibition, produced under the auspices of the Republic of Turkiye’s Consulate in London and the Yunus Emre Institute London, was curated and presented by Ayşe Gökçen Yücel, Şehribanu Turan, Elif Uysal and Ayşe Kaya.
Title: 5th Turkish Community Art Exhibition
Date: Friday 05 May to Thursday 25 May 2023
Time: The exhibition is available for viewing in person from 10am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.
Venue: Yunus Emre Institute London, 10 Maple Street, Bloomsbury, London W1T 5HA
Admission: free to attend.
Online viewing: The Yunus Emre Institute has created a programme featuring the artists in the exhibition and their artwork – click here to view
Main image, top, L-R: Mother of a Nation – oil painting by Metin Salih, and Women Series II – acrylic on canvas by Müge Kaymakcan Koçak