From Seçil Erel

24.08.2015 - 20.09.2015 

It was raining heavily when we arrived to Geneva and to the house in Trelex. That was unusual for a  summer day... Then the rain stopped. We went out to the garden, smelled the grass and fresh air and  we saw the amazing house. It looked magical... That was very nice.  My friend Kerem Ozan Bayraktar, who is an artist and past resident, told me about Trelex Art  Residency, and I met Nina Rodin when she visited Contemporary Istanbul last year.

I hesitated about doing the residency because I have a little girl and she was almost 4 years at that  time. But Nina understood and motivated me, because she has 3 lovely children herself. The  residency was a very important experience for us. We left our normal lives and artistic practice, we  began living and working together. I recommend this experience to all artists.

Also, I am lucky because I knew the other resident artist Gizem Unlu. She is very lovely, calm, understanding young and talented artist. She helped us when we needed something. Switzerland has extremely beautiful nature. I loved Nyon. It is very close to Trelex and amazing little town near Leman Lac, across the Apls, at the foot of La Cura mountains. We swam in the clean but cold Leman Lac, or Geneva Lake, and enjoyed walking around. We visited museums, galleries, cafes and shops in Geneva; Lausanne, and Yvoire (in France).

I collected maps, because I am influenced by them in my work, but had never used them directly before. I painted maps with watercolor and pens.

In my work, I like to begin with a fictional infrastructure and let my pieces take shape through a production process directed by the natural, random flow of painting; hence questioning the precision and overlooked aspects of architecture and existence in the relationship between painting, life, space and time. 

I create new spaces and suggests new architectural systems by overlapping layers that eventually become spatializedy. 

My paintings seek to outgrow the boundaries of canvases, walls, ceilings and sometimes floors.  I decided to set up a studio installation in my area during my residency.  

I was in the empty big walls and studio. I prepared many different projects samples on the installation.  I collected many things, such as maps, and used them in the installation. For example, I found plants  and leaves on the street - I liked them, picked them up and used them in the installation. They are still living in the my Istanbul studio.

Nina organized an open studio and an exhibition before the residency finished. 

After that we went for a trip other cities in Switzerland (Lausanne, Neuchatel, Bern, Zurich, Basel) in a  week.  

When we came back Istanbul from Trelex Art Residency, I felt calm and ready for new projects. It was  very good experience for my art discipline.

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