The Earthquake Series was inspired by my fascination of doodles, landscapes and my experience of being in the earthquake that shook Istanbul in 1999. These paintings became my exploration of form, doodles and abstraction within a traceable mediterranean landscape.
How do you attempt to portray what you felt when you thought you were faced with death? It’s almost impossible, words, images are rarely enough to explain what you went through, it only scratches the surface of something so deep, so emotional… Keeping this in mind, I have attempted to ’re-present’ my feelings of the day of 17th August 1999. The day nature played a cruel trick on the people in Turkey, the day I realised life was precious, the day the earth shook at precisely 03:02am, the day that could have been my last… The floors were covered in red tiles that were once the roof of buildings…
The Earthquake Series: Artist Statement, 2000
This body of work is about my perception of the earthquake that took place in Istanbul in 1999. Looking at it from one angle, the one of fear, happiness (for surviving) and sadness (for those who died).
These landscape paintings are (in my own way) defaced with doodles. These doodles are metaphors for the earthquake, in the sense that, they are both destructive… However, my images are also of hope, the landscapes -though defaced- still stands out unaffected by the doodle’s force and draws the viewer into the picture.
This is my own happiness, maybe even my denial of the event – it did not happen, the land did not crumble, and in my eyes it will not crumble. Although it shook my life and so many others I am slowly beginning to come to terms with what happened, what I went through and I know I will not get over it completely as I still re-live the emotions in certain situations.
I was lucky, I survived and so did my family, I did not lose anything precious to me unlike the unfortunate ones.
Maybe this is why my paintings are of hope, hope that anyone, including myself won’t live through this again; that everything will be fine, but things rarely turn out as we wish them to… I still hope…
I will leave you with this thought; earthquakes are scary occurrences’ but also a part of the world we live in, the exhibition I presented was not focusing on the despair of the natural disaster but a message of hope. I wonder if you can guess how I incorporated hope into the sadness of such a ferocious activity (I hint at it in my artists’ statement above). I would love to hear from you. As you already know, thoughts and comments are encouraged as always -even if it is just a word -as all good discussions start with just one word.
Where and when these paintings are/have been exhibited
2000 | Degree Show, University College Chichester | Chichester Open Exhibition
Nov 2021 – December 2021 | Part of the Explorations 1998 – 2021 Exhibition, The Snug Art Cafe
2022 | Mid-Summer Nights Dream, Bauhaus Nights Event, 26 August 2022
In Private Collections: Across the UK, see details below
The Earthquake Series is Available to buy as originals or as prints & also is in Private Collections
Earthquake 1 Not available for sale – only available as limited edition prints
Earthquake 2 Not available for sale
Earthquake 3 £1,800 – Free UK delivery
Earthquake 4 £1,180 – Free UK delivery
Earthquake 5 In private collection: Chichester, UK
Earthquake 6 £500 – Free UK delivery
Earthquake 7 In private collection: Oxford, UK
Earthquake 8 In private collection: London, UK
Earthquake 9 In private collection: London, UK
Earthquake 10 In private collection: London, UK
Earthquake 11 Animation. Not available for sale
My first ever sale was a painting from The Earthquake Series, which I did as part of my degree show.