Vuslat (Vuslat.art), a self-taught artist based in Istanbul, Turkey, is primarily focused on working with sculpture, drawing inspiration from nature, spirituality, and eastern philosophy. Vuslat utilises raw natural materials like gathered stones, minerals, and plants. Nature communicates with her, initiating a profound dialogue that resonates within the core of her being. From Vuslat’s point of view, the collaboration between an artist and natural materials draws parallels to the harmony found in the natural world.
A respectful acknowledgment of nature’s essence is crucial, urging a lifestyle aligned with its principles.Vuslat emphasizes the importance of recognizing our equality with nature, rather than asserting dominance or superiority. She argues for establishing a significant connection through active listening, engaging with nature to realise this fundamental truth. Efforts to comprehend nature, according to Vuslat, should involve an acknowledgment of its power and enchantment. Without this awakening, she cautions that society is swiftly progressing toward an undesirable future, hurtling towards a point of no return.
Beyond her artistic endeavours, Vuslat, a former newspaper publisher, activist, and civil society leader, has devoted a substantial part of her life to championing social causes, particularly gender equality and freedom of expression. Her belief in substantial contributions to the world of journalism was rooted in her vision and pursuit of innovation. During her executive role at the newspaper, she took a pioneering stance in terms of social impact and achieved notable milestones in advancing women’s rights.
Vuslat discloses that her career has taken a dramatic turn, assuming an entirely different identity as an artist. This transformative journey has spanned almost 17 years. Passionately dedicating 3-4 hours daily to her artistic pursuit, she kept this newfound passion discreet, confining it to her private workspace. Moments when she heard her own voice while sculpting held immense value, leading her to keep this experience to herself. This marked a departure from her managerial role, where listening to others was the norm, as she embraced a new practice — listening to her own voice.
In response to inquiries about her creative process and planning, Vuslat explains that her method of starting a new piece typically begins with a search of form, consistently rooted in the exploration of novel three-dimensional shapes. Additionally, Vuslat points out the significance of dreams in her creative process, considering them as whispers from the subconscious that unveil genuine curiosities.
Commenting on working with natural materials, Vuslat says: “Natural materials, like clay, have their own language, and we cannot control it. At first, I developed a technique and started working with very large sizes, over two metres. However, while I was working in the studio, one night, as if there had been an earthquake, a large form cracked and shattered into pieces. At that moment, I realised that I had to respect the language of the material. The nature and speed of clay are completely different. Even if you have mastered the best technique, it still has its own language; what is meant to happen, will happen. Working with clay on such a large scale has been an adventurous journey for me”.
For her first solo exhibition at the Baksi Museum in Bayburt, Vuslat has devoted herself for over a year to producing a new body of work presented under the title “The Soul of Emanet”. The exhibition featured dancing clay sculptures and dynamic drawings, with Vuslat using natural pigments from rocks and soil she collected from the area. It showcased how the artist fluidly shifts between different media and research of the region, its customs, and traditions. Occupying the central place in Vuslat’s exhibition at Baksi was an umbilical cord installation that originated from a chain that belonged to the artist’s grandmother.
Various artworks, which used a multitude of artistic languages and materials including text, sculpture, drawing, audio, and installation, were committed to exploring the manifestations of the notion of emanet. It is a concept that originated from the culture of modern-day Türkiye’s geography, which expresses and embodies the values of trust, devotion, deep loyalty, and guardianship.
Vuslat comments: “Emanet is a very important and valuable concept in our geography. In its essence, emanet means to keep, to protect. It means to cherish something which is given to you as though it were your own, in fact, valuing it even more than if it were yours. At the same time emanet is something valuable that should be carried from hand to hand through the generations. In this respect, giving an emanet initiates a relationship between two sides. A strong bond based on trust is formed. This bond, with trust at its core, is the guarantee for our coexistence. I believe the greatest emanet is life itself. It is a time between birth and death. After we are born, we are always seeking. From my point of view, our quests are always in forms of periods, usually in a spiral, so I don’t see life as a straight line, as a path. We turn, we twist, we approach each other, we move away, we try to relate, we try to connect”.
Commenting on her online presence with a .ART domain, Vuslat says:
“In today’s landscape, an increasing number of individuals within the art sphere are recognizing the significance of domain extensions in relation to the locations of their portfolios, projects, and institutions. These extensions not only serve as practical online addresses but also bear additional layers of meaning that align with the ethos and essence of artistic endeavours. By conscientiously selecting domain extensions that resonate with the core principles and aspirations of their creative undertakings, artists can effectively amplify their messages, establish unique identities, and contribute to a more nuanced and enriched digital presence.
My choice to establish my online presence within the .ART domain stems from a desire to foster the expansion of horizons beyond the confines of age limitations, experiential boundaries, or geographical borders. This artistic endeavour allows me to transcend conventional constraints, enabling a global engagement that transcends both time and space, while embracing the rich diversity of human experiences and perspectives”.