Welcome to the Cutting (& Stitching) Edge, where we showcase people whose embroidered creativity is fresh and new!
Gizem Konyar is a textile artist from Ankara, Turkey, whose hand embroideries explore the conscious and subconscious perils of modern femininity.
Gizem’s work stems from her own contemplations on her journey in the world as a young woman: “Childhood memories have been an important factor in her progress on this path. With this point of view, she created her own art language by trying to explore the subconscious, combining the dreams, memories and momentary thoughts she saw with embroidery art.
“The common point in the female silhouettes that she uses as images is their subjectivity and passion. It also wants to show the imbalance of the equivalence within the concept of beauty. She expresses what she wants to say with vague words and leaves it to people’s own imaginations. Faceless women are strong but fragile, under many influences. It has constant dilemmas and conflicts. She tells the world she lives in with her illustration works.“
There’s an elegant simplicity to Gizem’s work that belies a much deeper narrative. She uses simple line and form to create illustrative pieces that use surrealism to contextualise the work within the psychological realm. These aren’t just normal portraits…
The female ideals of beauty are recurrent in Gizem’s work, tied in with self-worth and external validation, and as you consider her pieces as a whole, there’s a subtle drama that unfolds as we see the careful negotiation between public and private conceptions of good and proper.
Gizem’s work is predominantly stitched on plain canvas, and with very little colour. This combination of familiar materials and uncomfortable content adds to the discord within the work – there is a struggle between what is expected and what is being told.
Gizem’s use of loose threads also breaks from the two dimensions to reiterate the universal nature of these conflicts and how they touch all of our lives in some form. In “As If” she connects six vignettes to further make this point through understated storytelling.
You can find out more about Gizem by visiting her website and following her on Instagram. It feels to me that she’s barely scratched the surface of her storytelling and that there are intimate insights yet to be shared.