Melike is a rather exciting painter, a rather pro-active mixed media artist, born in Samsun, Turkey, in 1980, an artist now firmly based in Istanbul. We’ve been aware of Melike and her work since March 2021 when she first took part in one of our Cultivate online group shows (can’t recall if she contacted us first or if we found her, however it happened, since that first show,we’ve featured her painting, her photography, her drawing, performance or her mixed media composition in a number of group shows. Indeed we’ve invited Melike to take part in every single Cultivate group show since the first one she took part in some two years ago. We like the marks Melike makes, we like her commitment, the energy in her art, the way she makes her art, the mystery in her art, the movement, we like the sound we see in her bold marks, we like the space she occupies, the questions she throws out as an artist
We recently invited Melike to participate in our Cultivate Spring season of online exhibitions with a solo show. The exhibition, originally scheduled to open in February of this year. until that is the devastating Earthquake hit Turkey (and Syria) and left everyone’s focus (understandably) elsewhere, the exhibition opened on March 21st. To tie in with the show we asked Melike to tackle our 13 questions. the replies were sent in before the Earthquake happened…
1: WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO?
I am a person who is trying to survive in all ways by making art. My creations arise in a dialogue and exploration of the grammar of painting. I’m interested in all kinds of media, including the body, acting and performing.
2: WHERE ARE YOU TODAY? WHERE ARE YOU MOST DAYS?
I’m at my studio. Today and most days.
3: WHO OR WHAT IS EXCITING YOU RIGHT NOW?
I’ve been very much about sounds, music and the transformation of forms into sounds over the last year. Sound is one of the most abstract things on Earth, as is the case when it comes to empty space. There are many painters, poets, musicians, writers, directors, actors, dancers who inspire me, however, the names are changing as I am changing. Additionally some people, some friends are exciting for me because of their way of living and the things they are doing for the World, the things that are happening in Persia right now for instance, Persian women, and everywhere where people who are fighting for their rights, freedom is something that elevates me today and everyday.
4: WHY DO YOU MAKE ART?
What else could I do while searching for the planet…
5: HOW DO YOU WORK?
This is not easy to explain for me. I’m living in my studio so it gives me a chance to work whenever I want. I organized things to use them in a very practical way. I feel like I never stop working. I settled my life on work. I can say my body is working spontaneously, however that is not the case with my mind. My movements are spontaneous, yet my mind is always in a state of creation. I am trying to relate, yet sometimes simplify, sometimes totally break this fictioning, this imaginary process, I guess.
6: TELL US ABOUT THE ART YOU MOST IDENTIFY WITH?
Identifying is against my artistic attitude. Someone else can do it about my work but I don’t.
7: WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR OWN WORK?
I love the moments when I suddenly realize what I have been doing since the beginning. Moments that come as surprise, as I happen to believe that I had been proceeding completely in a lost manner.
8: WHAT DO YOU DISLIKE ABOUT YOUR OWN WORK?
I feel I am never free enough and there are borders I have to break.
9: WHAT HAS BEEN THE HAPPIEST MOMENT OF YOUR LIFE SO FAR?
I was in the South of Turkey and I had some magical time at the beach some weeks ago. It was a very bright day. The beach was empty. The smell of the sand was everywhere! I walked in cold water, I slept under the sun. The light was reflecting from the sea very bright and covering all the surface and me. I had the feeling that it was a very special moment.
10: WHAT MAKES YOU ANGRY?
I’m very sensitive about injustice and any form of violence.
11: WHICH SUPERPOWER WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE AND WHY?
I would like to transform into other bodies. Experiencing many forms of many various beings… I let form flow from one to another. It’s almost like a continuous transformation. Transformation takes me to places I don’t know. I lose my identity and feel like I am meeting other possibilities of myself or being. Form has such power. This sense provokes me when I’m painting. I have a hunger to experience life in many perspectives in many various beings, in their forms. This provocation is making me, I guess, paint and act.
12: WHAT COULDN’T YOU DO WITHOUT?
I couldn’t do without art.
13: WHAT IS IT ABOUT MONOCHROME?
Monochrome is a place for me where I visit from time to time. It is as minimal as can be, as absent as can be; supports me in staying in a state of void that feeds creation. I try to catch it when working with colours.
And finally any future shows or events coming up that you wish us to tell people about? (including shows in Turkey)
I will be working on two collaboration projects in the next few days. Two that have been confirmed are paintings for a book and sound design for a play. The book and play were written by Tulu Ulgen, who is an actress, writer and dramaturge. Tulu Ulgen has a unique performative method in writing, both in form and content. She is an artist who inspires me with her works and lifestyle. I am very excited for both of the projects.
MELIKE on Instagram / website / Linktree / The Cultivate solo show
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