Throughout this summer (from 7 July until 31 August) we are exhibiting Turkish artist’s Nurhayat Polat’s Ebru art exhibition Woman and Water. Ebru – or marbling – is a traditional Turkish painting art which can be defined as painting on water and transferring this painting onto paper. During the vernissage the artist will be present to perform ebru making to the audience. We will have ebru workshops throughtout the first and last week of the exhibition: 8th and 9th of July at noon and 10th of July at 3 p.m. Workshops are free of charge. Everyone is welcome.
Nurhayat Polat introduces her exhibition in the following words:
“I was born in a small town of Anatolia in 1970. My childhood passed in an area full of historical remnants of Anatolian and Mesopotamian civilizations. I grew up listening narratives, fairy tales and legends of this rich crossroad civilization. My childhood town gave me the chance to see and explore the ruins and artifacts of ancient societies. I had a happy childhood drawing and replicating the symbols and motives I saw around. I was interested in drawing the god or goddess figures onto paper that were carved to rock reliefs or animal figures on gravestones.
At primary school I started to learn different techniques of painting. When I was in high school my paintings were first recognized and I won awards from various painting competitions. Painting and teaching was my harbor where I was happy and I decided to continue my career on it. With the support of my family I started studying at Marmara University in 1989. It was during my university years that I met the Turkish art of Ebru. I took courses on traditional Turkish Ebru to develop my skills within and outside university. I was appointed to a small town of South-Eastern Turkey as painting teacher. I had plenty of time to paint in this small and poor town. I was more focused on painting the poor villagers and their life, the art of Ebru was only there when I was teaching students.
In 2002 I decided to move to İstanbul to be more active as an individual artist. Besides teaching in schools I started to illustrate children’s stories for various publishers. From then on I have participated in solo and group art exhibitions. I have spent more and more time on the art of Ebru since then. Ebru is a term which derives from the Persian word ebri that originates from water, meaning water surface – hence Ebru is an art form in which you use natural paint on concentrated water surface. In Istanbul I decided to put all the traditional methods in Ebru aside and develop new techniques to catch contemporary and original figures. I used the help of chemicals and also the movements of water to control water itself. I do believe that this experience has helped me to get closer to the soul of water and this indeed has given me beautiful gifts.
I resigned from teaching and moved to Finland in 2007. We established a painting workshop/studio with my husband who also is an artist. I have started conducting Ebru courses and I experiment more in our workshop. The more I focus on Ebru the more I understand that I will never understand all the secrets of this art. The art of Ebru has taught me that a single drop of paint on water brings forth a new shape and once you take the foil out you will have a new surprise in front of you.
I have been working on Water and Woman for the last 2 years. I believe that both water and women have the power to create, give birth and give life. My roots are also in a land which may be regarded as a woman – Anatolia is the place where Istar, or Kybele or Venus was born from water…”
Kondas Centre of Naive and Outsider Art
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