Artist Belgin Yucelen explores the human condition and women’s rights in ‘Shifts Over Time’ – Boulder Daily Camera
Belgin Yucelen – a Turkish-American artist, now based in Boulder – doesn’t stick to just one medium. While the talented and imaginative designer studied sculpture at the Accademia D’Arte in Florence, Italy, her work has evolved into other territories including installations, film, prints and even poetry.
Moving, yet often simple, his creations embody the concept of “less is more”. From pieces that evoke a thoughtful reflection on our time on Earth to those that highlight the injustices faced by women, her layered subject matter emerges from a place of authentic expression.
His solo exhibition “Shifts Over Time” – a BMoCA exhibit at Frasier Meadows in Boulder – features Yucelen’s sculptures and pieces from several of his intriguing “Allegories”, “Waiting Rooms” and “Overwritten Scripts” print series.
Until October 9, the varied display speaks to the human condition and offers plenty of moments to pause and reflect.
She is also the founder of House of Serein, an arts community and studio in Boulder where other creatives can exchange ideas, foster relationships, and explore.
We caught up with the prolific artist – who holds a doctorate in chemical engineering and research – to find out more about her current exhibition, what she hopes viewers will take away and what future projects she’s excited to unveil in the near future. .
Kalene McCort: What inspired “Shifts Over Time” and what do you hope viewers take away from this diverse collection?
Belgium Yucelen: “Shifts Over Time” is the result of a collaborative curatorial process that Pamela Meadows, the wonderful curator of the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, and I prepared over a few tea meetings in my studio. Pamela wished to present a synthesis of diversified works. With this exhibition, I would like to bring the community to understand how the norms and values of the current landscape have been shaped in the past and how the future will inform them. I also intend to inspire the viewer to think about questions of meaning, time, and things we can take for granted.
KM: I understand that one of your “Crushed Scripts” print series emphasizes the inequality that exists based on socio-cultural norms. What motivated you to weave this subject throughout your work and how do you arrive at this message?
BY: “Crushed Scripts” emphasizes the inequality that exists based on socio-cultural norms rather than Islamic principles, which consider men and women equal in humanity. Currently, women are deprived of even the most basic human rights that have been advocated by Islam. The fairness and justice emphasized in the Quran and practiced in the early days of Islam are modified by scholars and rulers over the centuries.
I have been thinking for some time about creating works on women’s rights in Islamic countries. In 2017 I went to Morocco, an amazing place for new inspirations and self-assessments. I have always been fascinated by Islamic art and for the past few years I have been incorporating some of its elements into my art. I wanted to visit the 9th century Karaouiyn Mosque after reading about its beautiful Islamic decorations.
I was only allowed to enter after putting on a jacket which provided extra coverage, but I was still not allowed to enter the mosque and had to sit in the small women’s area for that my family was walking in the mosque. I had been studying Quranic scriptures and literature on restrictions on women in Islamic countries for some time. During this period of waiting at the mosque, everything I had read was starting to sink in and I decided to start this series as soon as I got back.
In early Islam, women had the freedom to develop their individuality and personality. They participated effectively in public life, took part in prayers in mosques with men, acted as imams, joined their colleagues in military expeditions, devoted themselves to the study of theology, traveled a lot and moved freely, mingled with men with self-respect and dignity.
With the transformation of the community into an empire, the rights granted to them were taken away and they were confined to their homes and were prevented from participating in public life and were excluded from public worship in mosques. Each print speaks of a specific right that a woman deserves. I’ve had the opportunity to show this series in venues across the country and will continue to seek out new venues to reach more people.
KM: I know you describe creation as a sacred calling. Do you remember childhood memories where you made art or times in your life when you knew art would be your career path?
BY: As a child, I drew and painted, and was fascinated by the imaginary stories my family members told us as we gazed into the dark gardens that surrounded my grandmother’s house.
I think the call to create is in all of us, some of us follow that call and some get distracted by other things and find other passions. It’s more than a call to me, it’s a lifelong passion I’m addicted to – a call that follows me through the dark hours of the early morning when the conscious mind hasn’t fully taken over. above on the subconscious mind, when the most curious of ideas visits. It is also more hopeful and more conscious than my own conscious.
KM: Love the variety of mediums you work with. What inspired you to create sculptural dresses and shoes?
BY: The decision to work in different genres, from printmaking and sculpture to film and installation, is a deliberate choice for me. I refer to history, anthropology, theology, linguistics, philosophy and other fields of study. The type of the art form is determined by a dynamic synergy between this ongoing research into subject and materials and the desire to create art that is aesthetically beautiful, alluring, compelling and challenging.
I research new art forms and methods and learn and study them so that there are many exciting doors to walk through when it comes to selecting material with an idea or theme. In the case of the sculptural dresses and shoes, I used industrial sheet metal and traditional techniques and materials from Turkey and Asia to recreate clothing worn by women and children in Anatolia and Europe between the 17th and XIX centuries. “Clothes of the Past” which was an attempt to rewrite the history of costumes that portray the status of people and the sophistication of a culture.
KM: What’s next for you? Any future goals or projects that you would like to see come to fruition?
BY: I have ideas and plans for a lifetime. It’s exciting to watch them come to fruition one by one as they mature. Being an artist requires continuous focus, learning, and documentation. The resulting ideas form and reform a thousand times as they collide with each other and are reviewed through a filter of emotions. When the ideas finally ripen, comes the incredible lightness of letting go as the artistic creation itself begins. Once our preconstructed imagination is satisfied, the satisfaction is deep, like swimming in the depths of the ocean.
I am currently working on an animation about global warming and its effects on humanity, for the Silent Screen program on the theme of activating environmental awareness, which will be presented for an entire day on four outdoor LED screens different as a 7th Dimension live event by Denver Digerati, a non-profit organization that supports artists working in digital animation.
Then I will create a new series of works called “Dream of the Gold Chamber”. It will be a set of large-scale paintings on ordinary objects and random moments enhanced by the use of real gold and an age-old gilding technique. I consider this series as an invitation to make routine rituals.