These works are a result of my time at the Babayan Culture House in Cappadocia, Turkey, where I continue with an on-going residency program.
By spending significant time in both Istanbul and other regions of the country, I have become fascinated by many aspects of Turkish life and culture. Yet through my focus on home as a concept, my recent interests have been on the realms of private and public space, invisible and visible boundaries, gender roles and how I operate within this society as a foreign female. Through my love of observational drawing, I have contemplated how architecture reflects these themes of home and space in both Istanbul and rural areas of Turkey. The interchangeability of interior and exterior, the private realm of domestic life and the male dominated public sphere are sometimes clear to recognize yet also exist as something mysterious and obscure. This body of work explores the concept of home, private and public space and interactions between myself and a foreign environment.
My experiences in Turkey have not only involved Istanbul and city life, but also rural and much more conservative areas of the country. In the summer of 2013, I spent 2 months at an artist residency in a remote village in Central Anatolia. It was in this village, İbrahimpaşa, where I was introduced to more complicated social structures such as gender segregation. As I spent most of my time drawing the inside and outside of homes in this village, I very easily shifted between public areas occupied by men into domestic spaces where I was surrounded by female company. As an artist and a guest, I am allowed access into these very separate worlds, while for villagers this crossover is more complicated.
These works reflect the clear definition and at times entanglement of domestic and public space in the rural community which has almost become a home to me. As I move between these worlds, and continue my investigation of this culture while forming deep attachments to the village itself, I have begun to ask myself where I fit into this society as artist, woman and foreigner. I am invited to move with ease between the spheres, yet feel displaced in both.