RUMEYSA – Artist Diana Page presents her urban images at Istanbul gallery

Artist Diana Page presents her urban images at Istanbul gallerySouth African artist Diana Page, who has been living in Istanbul with her family for nearly a decade, is showcasing a selection of her works delving into the images of the urban landscape at BAUART Gallery in Istanbuland#39s Karaky district.Page sees her current exhibition titled andldquoFlow: Sketchbooks, drawings, paintingsandrdquo as a part of a life process.

andldquoItand#39s an extension of breathing for me at this point. For instance, I carry a book with me all the time to draw on the metro.

Iand#39m not consciously thinking too much about it. Itand#39s just something I do.

I get bored if I work with the same things all the time. I like to work on different scales.

I like to work on big canvases, little canvases, on books, etc.,andrdquo she says during an interview with Todayand#39s Zaman.

The artist feels Istanbul is her adopted city. andldquoI have been living here for the last nine years.

Especially after having lived here for a long time, the images become quite layered. [They include] my memories and experiences of South Africa or of other cities, too.

I always say to people, before anything, a painting or a drawing is what it is. You are dealing with something quite abstract, whether itand#39s colored pigment on canvas or ink on paper Itand#39s an abstract language.

I like people to be able to appreciate the view from that level first and then the conversation is actually over to the viewer What do they see there? Because for me itand#39s not a closed [process]. I like my images to be quite suggestive.

So when somebody comes to my studio and says: and#39Oh I know where that is. I lived there.

and#39 Yes, it is because they know what it is. And for some it could be a completely different country.

I suppose Iand#39m always dealing with places and they are recognizable things that draw the viewer into the conversation so thatand#39s why my work sometimes is very abstract but usually it isnand#39t,andrdquo Page says, adding she likes that in-between place because thatand#39s where the conversation can really happen.BAUART Gallery curator Jochen Proehl writes for the exhibitionand#39s press release that in this show it becomes clear how the evolution of a single art work is bound up in a complex, interconnected creative process of thinking, drawing and painting and how these processes only become separated in the perception of the viewerandldquoAt the beginning there is sight, the visual perception of the surrounding environment.

With this in mind, Diana Page works with pencil, quill and felt-pen, layers collage or works with a brush in an unbroken, seemingly endless creative process. Thousands of her drawings fill the pages of her sketchbooks.

Within these, the artist records not only what she has seen, but she also expresses her thought process, and the possibilities of future charcoal drawings or paintings to be built up later in her studio,andrdquo he writes.andldquoThe theme of the chosen works from Diana Page for this exhibition are urban situations, mainly from Istanbul with its silhouettes, ships and waterways as the actual center of this city.

In our exhibition we show for the first time, alongside a selection of Pageand#39s charcoal drawings, large and small format paintings, 500 double-sided pages from her sketchbooks of recent years presented in a digital presentation,andrdquo Proehl adds.Page explains that she had always felt that she wanted to able present the process of work, not just have the finished paintings on the wall.

andldquoIt was great when Jochen Proehl visited my studio and he really liked that idea He took away a whole lot of sketchbooks, which was quite an anxious process for me, and he then scanned 500 double pages from them So he came up with these amazing digital presentations. What I like so much about them is they are haphazardly put there, which is how they are in my studio.

I just have a whole sea of them on my table and I just dip into them and get ideas from them,andrdquo she notes.Page has been exploring urban spaces for a long time now.

andldquoPerhaps because I grew up in a small university town in South Africa, it was so thrilling to be in an urban place. I particularly like walking in a city and thatand#39s what I like about Istanbul.

The movement [transformation] of the cities really interests me. It is really fascinating to watch these contrasts of beauty and ugliness.

Things being built up and destroyed. It almost feels like Istanbul is such a shifting city and of course there is this potential earthquake metaphor just to enlarge on that,andrdquo she says, adding that maybe her paintings may in a way redeem some of the sadness of neighborhoods and communities being destroyed in the city.

andldquoFlow: Sketchbooks, drawings, paintingsandrdquo will run through March 29 at BAUART Gallery, on the Karaky campus of Istanbuland#39s BaheIehir University. For more information, visit www. and dianapage.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman