Mythological thinking, art collide in exhibition
Hatice Utkan Özden
If we are to judge how artworks develop, we should be looking back at how life becomes more meaningful for artists and how they give meaning to life. For some artists, a meaningful life can be discovered through awareness and collaborating tales and mythologies in it. Canan is the kind of artist who values life and mythological thinking at the same time. Somehow, she discovered the power of combining how tales, mythology and daily life coincide with each other in the same intersection. Within this intersection, or let’s call it a third space of intervention, she creates her works. Her way of approaching her own art is intriguing. She loves to find her drive from stories and tales while she creates her own interpretations of them.
Her latest exhibition “Imaginary Realm” at Odeabank’s art space O’Art, curated by Begüm Güney, is a proof of how the artist is able to create stories, write her own tales while luring viewers into a gallery space urging them to see the world that she created.
This is a world of spells, tales, and mythologies. In each artwork hides a story behind and forces the viewer to discover the depths of the artwork as they listen to the story told by Canan. Each story has a character that is created by the artist.
The artist creates these characters’ as sculptures to make the viewer understand the mythological thinking behind her stories.
“I love to create art using symbols, mythologies and tales,” said Canan, noting that her current exhibition revealed with the concept of scents.
“I was in Burgazada [an island off Istanbul] and walking at night. I picked up scents such as jasmine, magnolia and all scents came to me suddenly.” She decided to create an artwork, in fact an installation based on scents. “So, the scent became a tale for me, and I am telling that tale in one of the installations at the current show. I put roses, lavender sachets and told a tale for everyone that includes a human, a mythological animal and it is about love.”
Power to interpret and rediscover life
Canan’s artworks are perfect examples for engaging audience into her own way of thinking. While she wants everyone to be involved, she wants her audience to feel the reality and her approach to life. “I believe that individual happiness is a political act. I choose to express myself in this way and I choose to be happy in life.”
Canan tends to achieve happiness through her performances, her artworks and through giving a meaning to an image. She believes that everything in life comes through awareness and that’s how she enters the realm of intuition.
Each part in the exhibition is supported with a tale written by the artist. As the viewer looks at the sculptures and discovers the detailed work in them, Canan reads the stories from a speaker.
“My characters vary from history and mythology. For example, I use basilisk and serpent. In some cultures, it is used in different connotations. Basilisk, indeed, is the sign of goodness and rebirth and she has a realm in the underworld, and this realm is heaven.”
We see sculptures as instillations in different sizes and these are telling a story of their own. “I tried to make each sculpture as light as possible. This is kind of a symbol too,” she added, noting that each sculpture is made with very light and simple material.
“I have never thrown away an item, I use them in my works, broken glasses, perfume bottles, ribbons are the materials that I use again and again. On the one hand, I use these materials each day. The shiny glitters, the bijoux, these materials are not only a part of my exhibition but also part of my creation of art,” she added.
Canan is also famous with her performances where she reads fortune through the tarot cards she created. This is part of the world of art that she created. She feels, she moves by her intuition, her soul is open to the goodness and this is how she shows her power to the world.
The exhibition can be seen at the venue through Nov. 20 and later online through the website of Odeabank.