Şebnem Ünlü Turkey, b. 1973

Murat Alat defines Şebnem Ünlü's works as “a forest that has witnessed time” and says the following about the exhibition: “However, it is not just the forms that bring Ünlü's words closer to the trees. The way they occur also reinforces this similarity. These paintings consist of unique traces of a living creature, an artist, that appear in his relationship with the world. “Traces' ' is a kind of self-portrait, however, it does not reflect the beauty of a creator like traditional self-portraits. Rather, it reveals the traces of the being, which we call human in general, but which is essentially a singular life energy, moving rapidly through time and space, and the traces left over from conflicts with its environment, as if it were the bark of a tree.

There are several series within her artworks including “Dust and Flames”, “Duality Series”, and “Traces”. She received her BSc Management from Boğaziçi University and MSc International Finance from London School of Economics. After graduating she worked in international financial institutions in Istanbul, Amsterdam, and London. In 2010, she started to focus on contemporary art and attended workshops and worked with leading Turkish contemporary artists. She has been a member of SAHA art platform and Tate Modern MENAAC.

 

Other solo and group exhibitions include the 2020, CI Contemporary Istanbul, Istanbul, 2020, MOMA, Modern Art and Ideas, NY, 2019, Otonom Art Events, Maslak Sanayi 9. Sokak, Istanbul, 2016, Group Exhibition, Fulya Sanat, Istanbul, 2016, Royal Academy of Arts, Surface, Structure & Colour, Emyr Williams, London, 2013-2014, Meray Akmut Art Studio, Istanbul, 2010, İstanbul Modern, Türk Resim Sanatı Tarihi, Ahmet Kamil Gören, Istanbul.

 

“Traces'' is her first solo exhibition. Murat Alat defines Şebnem Ünlü's works as “a forest that has witnessed time” and says the following about the exhibition: “However, it is not just the forms that bring Ünlü's words closer to the trees. The way they occur also reinforces this similarity. These paintings consist of unique traces of a living creature, an artist, that appear in his relationship with the world. “Traces' ' is a kind of self-portrait, however, it does not reflect the beauty of a creator like traditional self-portraits. Rather, it reveals the traces of the being, which we call human in general, but which is essentially a singular life energy, moving rapidly through time and space, and the traces left over from conflicts with its environment, as if it were the bark of a tree. Every contact leaves a trace; some in the bark, some in our body, some on the surface of the earth. Following these traces allows us to see the unique aspects of life that do not fit into abstractions and escape from generalisations. “Traces” undertakes the transmission from body to body in its most raw form, without being tamed, of a story that will neither be put into words and written in a book, nor put on paper with notes.”