Solar: Of the Sun
5-28 October 2021
Kale Tasarım ve Sanat Merkezi
Curators: Yonca Keremoğlu & Rana Kelleci
“Solar: Of the Sun” presents a selection of Aslı Smith’s latest woven paintings, created by transforming materials from nature. Taking inspiration from the changes the sun brings to earth, these body of works, with the labour-intensive and meditative process they require, invite the viewer to contemplate on the idea of building new connections with the environment.
Aslı Smith’s artistic practice takes form with the cycles of nature and the materials it offers. Plants, food waste, earth and stones, are transformed, through a variety of techniques such as steaming and boiling, into sustainable art supplies. All these materials from nature present a wide color spectrum rendering the seasonal effects of the sun visible. Smith reconstructs this richness of nature with a systematic randomness and a delicate balance.
The exhibition departs from “Solar 02”, a work that highlights the foundations of Smith’s relationship with sun and earth, as well as of her latest body of works. “Solar 02”, commissioned for the online exhibition “Possibilities of Waste: Form and Process”, realized last year for KTSM (Kale Design and Arts Center), involves the conversion of avocado waste from her kitchen. Here, she transfers the sun-soaked color extracted from avocado waste onto paper and tears them into pieces and then reconstructs a new whole through weaving.
The slow and patient process evident in the artist’s works is reminiscent of Penelope’s act of weaving mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey, where Penelope takes apart what she has woven through the day, and retains her weaving process for many years as she awaits the return of her husband.The act of weaving which may be taken as a motive of returning to the self, recalls of the everlasting dialogue between the sun and the earth, a perpetuity without a beginning or end.
Smith’s works offer a unique approach to the nature-culture duality by considering our individual or domestic routines, bodily and spiritual cycles along with the revolutions of nature and our planet. In the face of waste crisis, climate change and environmental apathy, is it possible to reconstruct our relationship with nature by turning our heads towards the sun?