Pioneer of weaving at Anna Laudel Contemporary
Anna Laudel Contemporary in Istanbul opened a solo exhibition entitled “Un-Weave” on April 26 by the acclaimed artist Belkıs Balpınar, who has pioneered the art of weaving in Turkey and is considered to be one of the most inventive practitioners of the “kilim” art medium within and beyond Turkey’s borders.
Belkıs Balpınar is known to be the first name in Turkey to produce contemporary artwork by using traditional weaving techniques. She has been producing works using the traditional rug texture inspired by scientific themes, including different spatial planes, microcosm-macrocosm, quantum physics and galaxies.
These themes are also the subject of her study. She expresses that the books she has been reading in the field of physics and astronomy have been the main sources of her inspiration. Balpınar also investigates the theoretical and practical aspects of perception and imperceptions, both as a scholar and as an artist.
Balpınar treats the forms she is creating on the rug texture as a reflection of the movements in space and gives depth to her works by adding motifs on plain rug warps. Her motifs touch upon the relationship between space and the unlimited aspect of shadows, which also adds dimension to her works.
The artist states that, Albert Einstein’s theory, which claims the existence of the fourth dimension through planes of space and time has had a great effect on herself and her production. Thus, she produces works reflecting the contribution of science to arts and culture.
Balpınar points out that contemporary artists are more focused on the current chaos and issues of the world while she is interested in the essence of our being, looking from a relatively more universal point of view.
“The world that human beings have created is very complicated. However, in billions of galaxies and the billions of stars within them, we see a regularity and order, which is a result of our perception of time,” she said.
“Many artists are trying to find and reflect on something from the chaos throughout the world. Yet, I try to capture images that imply spaces created by the movements of the galaxies and planets in the microstate, or particles in microspace that seem more ordinate in regards to our understanding of time,” said Balpınar.
Today, there are many internationally recognized textile artists across the world, including countries where there is no tradition of textile. On the contrary, Turkey is one of the centers for textile-weaving, which is known with its tradition of characteristic rugs and kilims. Still, the application of weaving does not reflect the field of contemporary art. In this regard, Balpınar is one of the prominent figures of this field who has developed and applied modern ideas to various weaving techniques.
Over the years, she has created a new technique of weaving, which she calls “un-weaving.” It means weaving the first plane and leaving the background untouched. This way, she has discovered forms existing in space are better expressed and also createsa three-dimensional pictorial plane that can be seen as a form of woven painting.
Taking its name from this specific technique, Anna Laudel Contemporary presents “Un-Weave,” bringing together Balpınar’s unique weaving techniques with inspiring scientific themes of physics and astronomy.
The exhibition will be on display across three floors of exhibition space at Anna Laudel Contemporary in Istanbul until June 10.