Sculpture meets poetry at Contemporary Istanbul
"Anatolia" stone sculptureNilhan Sesalan’s works are on display at the 10th Contemporary Istanbul (CI) in the Kuad Gallery, directed by Selin Yurtbilir, and under the curation of Beral Madra.
Nilhan Sesalan’s works are on display at the 10th Contemporary Istanbul (CI) in the Kuad Gallery, directed by Selin Yurtbilir, and under the curation of Beral Madra.
Sesalan is an artist who had an international career from the very start. Her sculptures can be found in very different parts of the world such as Japan, Israel, Argentina, India, Finland and Greece. With exhibitions in many countries, her works have their place in numerous collections in Turkey and abroad.
Her works can be defined within lyrical abstractionism. Her sophisticated style is inspired from every aspect of life and her works has references to archaeology, architecture, nature and art history.
She works with a poetic mind and in a way, combines literature with sculpture. She starts with some words in her mind, where their connotation brings to mind other words. All of these words help Sesalan shape her work. When the sculpture is finished, the words usually form a poem.
Soulmates: A salute to Greece
Her latest work, “Soulmates,” is on display at Contemporary Istanbul and it is integrated with a poem. It consists of three sculptures created with different materials but identical in shape: bronze, polyester and plaster. Soulmates is a reference to Greek artist Myron’s well-known sculpture “Discobolus.”
Sesalan’s poem tells the story of the sculpture being formed.
at various moments
with various effects
in various ways,
one by one by one
Anatolia: Land of migrations
Another sculpture of Sesalan’s at the fair is called “Anatolia.” This stone sculpture is shaped as an egg and has references to Seljuk geometry. The title of Anatolia (meaning “land of mothers” in Turkish) recalls the concept of fertility.
The egg hiding a new life is a symbol for the land which has been home to various cultures and migrations in history. Sesalan is inspired by nature as well when she uses the egg form, reminding us of the migratory birds that fly over Anatolia.
The artist uses various materials with confidence, including stone, wood, bronze and polyester. As she says in her poems, she starts with words in her mind, and then follows them until the work chooses the form and material. She never hesitates to use the material the artwork requires.
Her sophisticated way of thinking and style creates unique works with deeper meanings. Her soul has its roots in her soil, while her intellect follows her endless curiosity. This makes her a sculptor with a universal artistic perspective.