Beyond Apparent, A Search for Truth and Essence: Işıl Acar

In her paintings, Işıl Acar is searching to depict the truth and essence beyond everything that we perceive with our senses. The medium that she uses in her process has a great influence on her works. While painting, she associates her own emotions and impulses as well. We had a conversation with Işıl Acar about her entire artistic process, on how she moves on through to reach the truth and the essence.

Hello Işıl. To get to know you better, I would like to initiate by talking about the beginning of your art career. How did you decide to study Painting at Işık University? Did you have any art experience before?

Of course, I’ve always been intertwined with drawing since I’ve known myself. Painting has always been a way for me to express myself and to express my feelings even when I was little. With the guidance of art instructors around me, I decided to turn it into a profession and I started by studying at the university.

Your paintings could be perceived as abstract, even though they all have titles. Could you tell us about your production process? How do you begin, when do you end and how do you title your artworks?

Everything we perceive in our world is concrete. The way we perceive our environment, the things we feel and the way we think, all of them create our worlds. In my works, I am trying to reach the essence of being beyond everything we touch, we see and we feel. I allow the reality chosen to evolve to nothingness, to uncertainty beyond that existing world. At this point, the concept of abstractness begins to become concrete for me. During my production process, while seeking to find the answers to my questions, not only about nature and space, but even the slightest detail I find from the life itself gives me an urge to get in touch with it. Then, when I begin to construct my paintings, I find myself into completely different status and end this process as soon as I feel satisfied with the result. I believe the titles given to the artworks act as a bridge between the viewer and the work therefore while entitling them I try not to restrict the viewer too much. I aim to let the viewer interpreting by considering their personal intangible world.

Işıl Acar – Growing Inside Out

While producing your artworks, you usually use resin as a medium. Do you use any other mediums rather than resin? Does the material have a specific influence on the result that you would like to reach?

Even though I graduated from the Painting Department while studying I had the opportunity to work with many different materials until I found my way of expressing myself. I never put a limit on myself about the materials, but I can say that my progress while creating my works evolved in this direction. Within this material, I question the meaning of flow ve and also the means of being in the flow. This examination led me to the density within the material itself as well. The confinement of the resin into the paint and the time constraint in the production process led me to reinterpret the concept of time in which we experience, restrict and limit ourselves. Therefore, working with resin is difficult but comfortable, inhibitory but also a footloose process for me.

The images that exist in your works could communicate with the viewer. Sometimes you feel yourself in nature, sometimes you are in somewhere outside the world, sometimes you are in space…From this point of view, how do you interpret your paintings?

Isn’t that always the case? When we look around, we always look for familiar things, the things that we can communicate easily. We want to feel like we belong to somewhere/someone. Yes, my paintings are sometimes from this world, sometimes from outside. I consider it as desires and emotions. Everything we see around us is us, and we are them.

It has been a year since you have completed your undergraduate degree, as a recent graduate from an art degree, how was this period until now? As it is said, is it really like being a fish that came out of its water?

After school, at first, I opened my own studio. For a while, I traveled around Turkey and abroad, spent a lot of time in nature, and combined the technical knowledge I have learned with my inspirations and experiences gained while traveling, and initiated the series called Stars Do Not Have Veil. My education at the collage has taught me how to think but not what I should think. That’s why I felt like I was sailing into new seas rather than a fish out of water.

Işıl Acar – Stars Have No Veil 6

Could you please explain briefly the series Stars No Dot Have Veil. Do you think is there any reason for this series to come out during this process? How did you initiate? 

In order to achieve what we expect from life, we compromise from time to time. We regulate and create ourselves according to the tastes of society. At least in one part of my life, I’ve experienced it, and I thought it was true. I think it came out while I was looking for the answers for the questions of who I am and why I am here. Stars have always been leading people for centuries to find answers for their questions and led them raise new questions. They also seem to be like the messengers of another universe. They do more than just being a dead planet. While searching for answers to my questions, I chose this way and began to explore beyond the substance than was apparent. Each of us is a star, and I believe that we will shine when we realize our own potential.

There are many opportunities for young artists, many competitions are organized, and there are also many art residency programs that can be applied especially in abroad. As a young artist, what do think about these possibilities? Do you apply to these opportunities for the emerging artists?

Yes, there are definitely lots of opportunities for young artists. Primarily, I aim to realize my projects in Turkey and after that I will be evaluating the opportunities abroad.

You are taking place in one of the Turkey’s leading online art platforms, What do you think about being on this platform? is a platform I’ve always followed. The fact that contemporary art is also included in the online platform makes art more accessible. It is very motivating that offers young artists like me the opportunity to participate in such place. I believe that we will realize successful projects together and I am very excited.

Are there any artists you influence from and follow? If you were given a big amount of budget but could only buy one artwork with it, which work of an artist would you buy? And why?

I follow many artists. I would also like to initiate to collect art in the future. If I had been given a very big amount of budget, I think I would buy The Pack, by Joseph Beuys. Beuys’ life has always impressed me, sometimes I identify him with myself. We live in an age of technology but while experiencing this transformation process, sometimes we forget that we are more primitive in some ways. These adaptations can create cracks in our personality, when we forget our past and where we came from. I admire the instinct of human existence. Every time I see this work, I think about these things I mentioned and I get impressed, that’s why I would like to buy this work.

What kind of a future are you dreaming of in your career? Do you have any plans about to have a masters degree? 

After realizing my goals in Istanbul, I would like to continue my artistic production by traveling to different countries. Simultaneously with the art residency programs as you have just asked, I am planning to do a master’s degree. I think that my future in my career will create a whole by exploring new people and places. If I quote a song I like: A settled dream is the truth.


Click for the artist page.

Interview: Sena Arcak Bağcılar