Diorama artist creates the world in her dream
The artist Gül Kanmaz recreates the world in her dreams by writing stories and using the art of diorama, which is defined as the three-dimensional animation of a moment and is shown as an expression of design and imagination.
Diorama, which used to be an art form preferred by mobile theaters in the past, is now used as a branch of art that is frequently used in museums and exhibitions. Those imagined in the diorama scenes are presented to the audience as miniature works.
Kanmaz, who is actually an English teacher, told state-run Anadolu Agency about her 12 years of life and work in diorama.
Stating that diorama is a relatively new art form in Turkey, Kanmaz said, “We can explain diorama as the 3D modeling of any story or situation, whether fictional or real, using various techniques.”
She said that she was first influenced by Japanese miniature artists in this field of art, adding, “I was following the works of Japanese miniature artists. One day, I discovered polymer clay by chance on their pages. I wondered and started with a pack of polymer clay. I have been continuing with the same passion and enthusiasm for 12 years. This is an interesting art that has no limits in learning”
Underlining that the discovery of polymer clay was a turning point for her, Kanmaz said, “It was a right start for my diorama art. After the polymer clay is baked, it is fixed and you give the shape you want, the form you want. Of course, a lot of materials were added to this, but polymer clay has always been my initial key material. I also give workshops. I generally recommend the trainees to start with a composition based on polymer clay and I give them such training.”
Everything can be used
Stating that she gives diorama training in groups of maximum three people in her own workshop in Beşiktaş, Kanmaz said that the time to make a diorama varies according to composition and size.
Kanmaz stated that if the work is large, the composition can only be finished in a month.
“Sometimes the inspiration goes away and I don’t look back on a work for months. This is an art that requires a wide variety of materials. Because you are building a world. You start by building a structure and you become a builder. You are laying the floor tiles. You paint its walls. If there is something related to textiles, you become a tailor. If you cook, you become a cook. You touch so many areas that you are actually building a world. That’s why you need a wide variety of different materials. You really need a lot of space to stock the materials because you can use anything. No limit. Then, of course, you come to understand what works for you and what will not. This is something that can happen through time and experience.”
Kanmaz stated that when she started this art 12 years ago, there was no education and that she was self-taught in this field.
“I did research. There were already very few people who made this art in Turkey at that time. I can say I am one of the firsts. The best thing I ever got was my own experiences. It is much more valuable to have your own experiences, rather than using the knowledge of others, and it makes you much more committed to your art,” she said.
Drawing attention to the need to be a good observer in this field of art, Kanmaz said, “Patience and manual skill is required. Art develops a little over time with experience. But a basic manual skill is essential. You are dealing with pieces that are too small for your finger to hold. You have to stick them. So it really takes strong will and patience.”
Mentioning that she always tries to tell a story in her dioramas, Kanmaz said, “I try to emphasize a sense of true life experience. This is what separates the diorama from the mockup anyway. Diorama has something to say. It has a background story, maybe an invisible hero. Maybe I am trying to explain an experience in the dirt you see under a power socket. Adding these little details adds realism and I have an obsession with realism. I had a boring childhood enough for me to be a good observer. 1980s kids are always the same. In fact, the diorama provided me with a space where I could tell my stories other than writing. Most dioramas also have a written story. This adds a completely different depth to my work.”
The artist’s original works can be seen on her Instagram account.