Gizem Konyar – Stitching A Fine Line


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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 Konyar - Until My Hands Tremble
Gizem Konyar – Until My Hands Tremble

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.

Gizem Konyar - Cover Of Time
Gizem Konyar – Cover Of Time

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.

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Gizem Konyar – Like Me

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…

Gizem Konyar - My Hands Are Ugly
Gizem Konyar – My Hands Are Ugly

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 Konyar - A Handfull Of Life 1
Gizem Konyar – A Handfull Of Life 1

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 Konyar - Woman
Gizem Konyar – Woman

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.

Gizem Konyar - As If
Gizem Konyar – As If

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.

Mr X

Jamie Chalmers, aka Mr X Stitch, aka the Kingpin of Contemporary Embroidery is the founder of the Mr X Stitch site, the world's longest running embroidery blog, the curator of PUSH Stitchery and the author of the Mr X Stitch Guide to Cross Stitch. He is also the founder of XStitch, the game-changing cross stitch design magazine which launched in Summer 2017.

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