MEMBER MONDAY: Feleksan Onar, ISTANBUL, TURKEY

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MEMBER MONDAY: Feleksan Onar, ISTANBUL, TURKEY

posted on 10:03 AM, March 11, 2019
Feleksan_Onar_Perched_06.jpeg

What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the process that you use in your work?

My initial attraction to glass as a material is due to its physical qualities: being translucent, the optical effects, the depth in the colours, being fragile yet so strong. However, what kept me dedicated to glass is the complexity of working with glass and how it matches or even compliments my character and challenges me.

What themes do you pursue in your work?

Glass is the way I communicate. Through glass, I share my thoughts on past and present social issues, reflect on my heritage and even convey anxieties and expectations of the future. Social and political topics come out regularly in my work as well as the history of the eastern Mediterranean where I live.

What is your dream project?

I do have a dream project in mind and hoping to get to it in 2019/20. ‘Perched, currently displayed at V&A, is a moving display of 99 mold-blown glass swallows with trimmed wings representing my artistic response to the millions of displaced Syrians who have fled their war-torn home for Turkey. The swallows’ form was inspired by Birds Without Wings, a historical novel by Louis de Bernières (2004). Set during the wars between Greece and Western Turkey in the early 20th century and tells the story of families caught up in mass migrations as the Ottoman Empire broke up.. 41 of these swallows have been presented in the Islamic Art Galleries of V&A since June 16, 2018, and will continue to show there through April 22, 2019. Their initial presentation was in the Aleppo Room of Pergamon Museum earlier in 2018. I would like them to be shown in yet another major museum or public space in North America and afterward, my dream is to organize an auction to raise funds for an organization like UNHCR for the refugees as they finally find their permanent homes.

If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?

I think ı would have been a great diplomat in foreign relations but not for our 21st-century world:) I enjoy connecting people and cultures, creating win/win solutions. But then again, I see myself as a lawyer as I have a very rational mind, or as an architect as I love thinking in three dimensions 

What's something about you that most people don't know?

Maybe the fact that I love animals. At home, we have six dogs and 2 are rescue dogs and a parrot and we frequently travel to Africa. In fact, we will be traveling to Botswana and Zambia this spring. My collection ‘ Animal Kingdom’ stems out of such trips to Africa.

Why are you a member of GAS?

It is a great international community to be part of!

To learn more about Feleksan, go to her GAS MEMBER PROFILE PAGE

Or, her personal website HERE.

Current installation, Bliss  at Pera Palace Hotel through March 25th, 2019

41X’  for The Glass Week Venice


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