For centuries, artists have been entranced with depicting the natural environment in their art. From illustrating streaks of rain and lightning on the interior walls of those cave homes to depicting the natural environment in their artwork as a background subject to document human narratives, art has always been a subject to construe awe of our natural world. With time, the use of environment and nature in art evolved and the artists reinvented themselves to tell more stories pertaining to the current social, economical, and political scenarios. And Turkey-based artist Alper Aydin is taking it a notch higher by visually depicting the politics of the environment through his artwork.
The artist is in India to showcase his work at the ongoing Kochi-Muziris Biennale in Kochi. Alper is showcasing two works, one of which is a photographic installation called The Song of the Earth which consists of 208 separate pieces. Alper tells us that this work is a documentation of actual kilograms of the last natural rocks on the Black Sea coast in Turkey, where the artist has been working for 12 years. Another artwork consists of drawings of 36 different project ideas made with black and white pencils on cardboard, which took Alper seven years to complete.
Drawing inspiration from nature and human relations, Alper, through his art conveys the idea of impermanence, existence and extinction on earth. “I've been thinking about the world and our existence as long as I can remember, what I realised with this thought process was that we humans are a biological part of this world, nature, and I started to think about how I can explain this reality, and I followed this idea in general in every work,” says Alper who reads a lot about archaeology, geology, and sociology to reveal his work as a result of these researches.
From creating sculptures, installations, illustrations, paintings and visual performances, Alper is redefining modern art with his extraordinary work. The former professor and a PhD in Earth Art, Alper also focuses on environment conservation through his art. For him, it is important to speak directly to the audience more than just showcase his ideas through art. “The important thing while producing my artworks is to produce works that have been witnessed and will be witnessed. However, I think that my artworks will guide the audience if they are at the same level and perception as the audience. For this reason, it is the most important thing for me to go beyond the texts of the works and speak directly to the audience.” says the 33-year-old artist.
Comparing his artwork with writing a poem which needs the right words to express the emotion of the poet, Alper says, he uses geography as a material for his artwork. “At the same time, this is not something that happens all at once. It is very important to be able to filter the material through time and see whether the work really conveys what you want to express,” muses the artist.
Making this world a playground to play with his ideas and art, Alper sees the world through the eyes of a child. His curiosities help him create the work that speaks of the geography, culture, religion and family that he observes. “I believe that I can make everything I dreamed come true with my own hands. This situation keeps my motivation in production really high,” says the artist and adds that he is trying to take art a step further from what already exists.
Through his art, Alper brings the diversity of his country, Turkey which consists of seven regions, into his artwork. “These regions are the seven colours of the rainbow which form a great harmony. Its diversity, layers, differences, and tensions constitute the essence of my art,” he says, adding that the diversity in the languages of production has increased over the years. “The borders have disappeared and the rapid sharing of art communication between countries is a very good situation for art today,” concludes the artist.
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