One can almost smell the colorful flowers in Sevtap Yılmaz’s paintings. As her authentic photo-realistic style invites us to pay a closer look at nature’s precious beauties, we had a conversation with the artist ranging from the beginnings of her artistic journey to her passion for nature.
How did your interest in art develop?
They always say so but… I have been painting ever since I can remember. During elementary school, I was admitted to the Mimar Sinan University class of gifted children thanks to my teacher’s suggestion. I remember that the height of my portfolio bag surpassed mine. I have never stopped painting since those days. The walls of our home were covered with my drawings; and my family has always been the driving force behind my intention to continue.
You depict flowers using a photo-realistic style. Do you create your compositions by looking at photographs? How does your preparation stage develop?
My perceptions are very open with regards to flowers; especially when I take walks in nature, I find the opportunity to photograph them a lot. I also deeply enjoy visiting the flower glasshouses in the city. I have quite some data in my possession regarding this subject. I build my compositions also with some occasional help from the internet.
In your works, each flower has a different form and color, and yet they manifest great harmony together. Do you think it is possible to see the individual-society relationship in the contemporary world of cosmopolitanism and multiculturalism under the same light?
Each and every flower and color in my paintings reflects different cultures and characters. I believe that we can start seeing this harmony once we get rid of both our social and individual ambitions and stop marginalizing other people.
Flowers also carry several symbolic meanings in different cultures. Are you also interested in these meanings?
In my oeuvre, I particularly avoid using flowers in a way that refers to a specific culture or society. Many flowers have different meanings in different societies. For instance, yellow gladiolus represents jealousy, whereas violet symbolizes humility. But instead of their individual, symbolic meanings, I am interested in how the visual aesthetic they generate as a whole is reflected on our society.
You do not confine yourself to surfaces like the canvas; you also paint murals… How do your production methods differ in relation to these two media?
My main medium is oil on canvas. I have also had some mural projects following some offers. My methods change depending on my working environment and my materials. During the overall process, acrylic and projector occasionally step in in addition to oil as well.
Although we are surrounded by so much beauty in nature, we have currently imprisoned ourselves in our cities of concrete. In the midst of your daily hustle, what do you do to remain in closer contact with nature? This question might be a bit interesting, but do you grow flowers, for instance?
Contact with nature does seldom happen in my daily hustle, unfortunately. This is why I run away to nature as often as I can when I have free time. I prefer taking long walks outside the city. I have been tent camping for a while and I regret to have started experiencing it only recently. On the other hand, I am not as skillful at growing flowers as I am at painting them; but I have a few of them that I enjoy growing and watching.
How did your paths cross with Art50.net? Your views on online art platforms?
Art50.net’s support for art and the artists has been drawing my attention for quite a while. In a period during which some of my artist friends whose works I admired began to appear on this platform, I became more interested in them, and they were interested in my oeuvre, so we came together. I think that online platforms have a crucial role in introducing the artist and her works to a wider audience and doing so rather comprehensively.
Your projects for the near future?
I am preparing for my solo exhibition for 2020. This is why I have currently shut myself away in my studio. There will also be some group shows I will take part in.
Click for the artist page.
Röportaj: İpek Yeğinsü