Wed, Jul 30th - 11:17AM
Turkish Feminist Art
Right: Nese Erdok - Sick Child - 1993.
Since the 1960s women artists in Turkey
have seen a cultural renaissance, both stylistically and subject wise.
Contemporary issues that effect women every day have become the subject
of artwork, indeed this trend is worldwide, and those subjects are
constantly being re-evaluated by artists, feminists and art critics. Feminist art has become an important part of Turkey's art scene.
In a society where women are traditionally
taught and furthermore encouraged to engage themselves in weaving,
embroidery and knitting, learning to paint is already an acceptable
accomplishment. More than half of today's Turkish artists are women.
Although the University Art Departments all have women as the majority
of their students, the number of women artists who survive the
professional struggle is few. Even more women artists gain a private
training and it is after this that they too join the field. It is also
striking that there are very few women educators in the faculties of
the art departments while the ratio in other fields such as
architecture and sciences is today more evenly balanced.
Right: Nur Koçak - Stripes or Special to the Bath with Garden - 1992-93.
Metropolitan Istanbul and Ankora (Turkey's
capitol city) has many places for exhibiting works. Amateur artists can
promote their art in state galleries, privately run galleries, and many
banks also boast art galleries. This rosy image of artistic life isn't
so rosy when you realize most of the artists shown are male and there
were relatively few women artists in the mainstream of art until the
1960s. After the 1960s there were improvements, and some women even
took on leadership roles, but there is still lots of room for women to
grow and gain acceptance.