Reflections on Istanbul

by Jaclyn Dooner (MFA 2015)

My artist in residency in Istanbul has furthered my resolve, commitment and passion to be an artist.

An undergraduate BFA and 7 years as an Art director in the advertising community, coupled with two incredible years at the Academy have given me strong technical skills to pursue a painting career. Istanbul has provided the emotional inspiration and confidence in myself to make my career a reality.

I spent 5 weeks in Istanbul, viewing, exploring, reading and working with Tatiana, Simon and Austin. We experienced it all.

We saw contemporary art created from bullet holes, to architecture that spans thousands of years and multiple cultures (Europe, Asia, Muslims, Christians) to crazy Byzantine cave frescos (in Cappadocia).

Istanbul has a political and social environment that is always in a state of flux.

At any given time there are Christian issues, Muslim issues, Communist issues, Police issues, etc. I have to admit, sharing this culture was indeed interesting but sometimes scary. The tension on the streets could also be felt within the gallery walls. Much of the contemporary work we saw dealt with this civil unrest. It was that much more impactful viewing the work within the country that was experiencing this complex political and social climate. All the art in Turkey is privately owned. Brilliant work shared with so few.

We saw an interesting show, “Every Inclusion is an Exclusion of other Possibilities” at SALT gallery that directly addressed this dichotomy. The exhibition brought together aspects of three private, independent collections in order to open a dialogue and critique around the act of collecting and publicly sharing.

Lastly, but most importantly, the ‘four amigos’ toured together, cooked together, critiqued together, and worked together which gave me an insight that artists need not be alone in their endeavor, but rather collaboration and friendship can and does stimulate your thinking and advance your artistic confidence.

Istanbul, view from our residence

Eyup, Istanbul

Detail of piece created from bullet holes in “Every Inclusion is an Exclusion of other Possibilities” at SALT Gallery

“Every Inclusion is an Exclusion of other Possibilities” at SALT Gallery

Hagia Sophia Exterior

Hagia Sophia Interior

Hagia Sophia Interior

Blue Mosque

Plein Air Painting in Buyukada

The Studio

The Studio

The Studio

Home cooked dinner at the apartment

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