For two years the Consulate General of the Republic of Turkey  and Yunus Emre Institute in London proudly celebrated the artists within our community with Turkish Community Art Exhibition. Unfortunately, with the challenges we faced due to the Covid-19 pandemic we were not able to physically host the third iteration of the exhibition. However, with the support and contributions of the Turkish artists living in the United Kingdom we can meet online for this valued exhibition and enjoy the artworks of our community.

After realizing our initial goal of encouraging emerging and established artists of the Turkish community in the United Kingdom we felt the platform we were creating was slowly give a voice to these artists. This energetic Turkish Community has so much potential and we hope to see even more contributions to our society as we believe that this community is the strongest pillar in the excellent bilateral relations between Turkey and the United Kingdom.

We look forward to the response of our community to this exhibition. Every Artist has their own section which you can scroll through and you can take a closer look at the artworks to see their descriptions and a closer look into the background of our Artists. Our biggest thanks go to all members of the Turkish Community in the United Kingdom who have presented their works for this exhibition. We would also like to thank our valued jury for their time and judgement in choosing from a great selection of over 140 artworks from over 70 artists.

The artworks are only placed with a focus on an alphabetical and structurally sound order. You can also follow our instagram @yeelondra for a spotlight on every artwork in the exhibition.

Enjoy the exhibition!

Adam Turk started studying art at City Lit London in 2002 with no previous training in art. Art in any form, painting and drawing in particular, have always been a stimulating forces for him from which he has absorbed an attitude to the life he has lived and continues to live. For him it is most important to capture that point in time in which he is paintings and honest in the work produced.


Ahmet Aydın was born in Şanlıurfa, Turkey in 1984. He completed his primary and secondary education in Gaziantep. He graduated from Gaziosmanpaşa University, Department of Mathematics between 2002-2006. In 2002 he started his musical life when he began learning the ‘saz’. In 2011, he was appointed to Van Fine Arts High School as a permanent mathematics teacher. In 2018 he moved to London where he continues his music career. Currently he gives music workshops in Chingford and continues to make instruments. Aydın, who is also a Ebru and Calligraphy artist, opened 2 solo exhibitions in London since 2018.

Ahmet Kutu is an abstract artist based in London, United Kingdom. He grew up in Turkey, where he began to follow his passion for art; seeking the power of abstraction to capture works that create a bridge between the body and mind. He went on to receive a BA (Hons) in Fine Art at The Anadolu University. Constantly experimenting with different materials, the artist continues to work on his latest series called Utopian Spaces, alongside his topical digital photo manipulation collages, in his South London studio.

Ahmet Tayyar was born in Turkey, Eskişehir. In 1992, he graduated from Eskişehir Anadolu University, Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Graphics. Ahmet worked as a graphic designer and art director in various institutions and organizations. He is still owner and director of Creador Design in London. He focused mainly original print and created etching work besides his profession field. He is inspired old civilizations and cultural combinations. He opened two solo exhibitions and participated in many collective exhibitions. He continues his art works in his studio in London.

Aynur Kocaoglu is a glass artist based in London. She has been teaching art therapy to children, adults and persons with disabilities since 2014. She believes art is one of the main ways to express emotions and she focuses on animals, especially bugs.

Ayse McGowan’s figurative works are an exploration of the human form and relationships portrayed in candid contemporary family life. Her style is impressionistic and loose, with light being her main focus. In her work, Ayse aims to provoke a moment of appreciation by awakening memories and creating a portal back in time for the viewer. The images she uses are memories of childhood re-imagined in ordinary, everyday settings, in hopes of creating waves of nostalgia in the viewer.

Ayse Ozlem Yuksel was born in Ankara, Turkey. After graduating from Boğaziçi University Computer Engineering Department, she specialized in Business Management at Istanbul University and worked as a Marketing Manager in multinational companies for 14 years. Her talent in painting ensured that she was always in touch with painting and art since her student years. She focused on her amateur art works in recent years and founded BelenArt. She leads workshops in London, Oxford, Istanbul ,Bursa and Dubai. Currently she continues her workshops online. Throughout her life, Ayse has had a strong passion for using arts from Eastern culture and focuses on Ebru art which she finds perfect for personal introspection, serenity, peace and therapy.

Cansu Sarac Engin was born in Bursa, in 1992. In the heart of Cini. As a daughter of an artisan mother, she was raised in a house full of art and handcrafts. She started helping her mother early on to produce countless handicrafts including paintings, ceramics, knitting, mosaics with her. After graduating from Marmara University in 2015, she had the chance to work as a trainee in a ceramics studio before starting my professional career in IT. While training at the Ceramic Studio the bright and vivid colours of Cini always enthralled her. After moving to London in 2020, she decided to pursue her artwork semi-professionally to chase her dreams and paint colourful, hand-made tiles. The colours and patterns from nature as well as the colours of Turkey continue to inspire her work.

Demet Tokbay was born in 1978 in Istanbul and she graduated from Ege University Ancient Artifact Conservation and Repair Department in 1997. In 2000, she started giving practice lessons in Bergama at the university where she graduated. Soon, she started to design and manufacture Parsomen and, in 2013, she became an apprentice to Ismail Arac, the Last Karatabak and Parsomen Master who lived in Anatolia. In 2014, the documentary entitled Cirak, in which her master, Ismail Arac, and his stories were told, received the TRT Documentary Culture Award. Tokbay continued to work with her master until she settled in England. In 2015, she founded Mavi Dukkan, which was her own workshop and tannery. She moved to England in 2018 and continues to produce and work on Parsomen at her workshop in North Elmham. Artist profile photo credit: Yasemin Bakan

Dr Eda Ermagan-Caglar was born in Turkey and has a degree in psychological counselling, her masters and doctorate degrees in forensic social sciences. Following her career in Turkey, she moved to London and worked at University of Northampton. Afterwards, she founded her own company, Balance, and delivers psychological counselling. She has always been interested in arts, especially photography. Some of her photographs have been put on display in international exhibitions. Among all the arts she followed over the years, one has always felt magical to her; paper marbling. As a counselling psychologist, she believes the soul of water and colours offers the people a safe place to impress their thoughts and feelings. She had her first chance to experience paper marbling at the workshop carried out by Yunus Emre Institute at London Craft Week in 2019. Afterwards, she had an opportunity to join a training program carried out by Ahmet Hikmet Barutcugil.

Esma Uğurluoğlu was born in Istanbul in 1992 and graduated from Trakya University, Architectural Restoration Associate Degree, as the top student of the department. During her undergraduate years, she worked as a restoration intern at Dolmabahçe Palace, the Hagia Sophia Mosque and the Casa Garibaldi opera house. She continued her education at Sakarya University, in the Traditional Turkish Arts department and majored in the art of illumination (Tezhip). She started classical paper marbling education in Istanbul Sünbül Efendi Marbling House with the method of ratification. Since 2016, she has been living in Newcastle upon Tyne where she created her own brand called Esmarengiz Design and sells her artworks online. She work with the hope of showing people that art makes our view of life more beautiful and will continue to do so.

Eylul Ozmen Yuksel was born and trained in Istanbul. She graduated from Marmara University Fine Arts Faculty Photography Main Art Branch in 2015. She has participated in many mix exhibitions and awarded for her art. Besides her artistic career, Mrs Yuksel has been working as a teacher of the Graphic and Photography Department between 2015 and 2018, with the appointment of the Ministry of National Education. She continues her education and art production in London since moving to London in 2018.

Funda Evsenel studied Business Administration at the Cardiff Metropolitan University, then completed a MBA program at the same university on International Business. She currently works for a well-known Fashion Group as a Senior Account Manager. Funda, who had an interest in the art of marbling for many years, has effectuated this dream in recent years thanks to her tutor Mr Kozanoglu and Yunus Emre Institute. Bringing together the different elements of life with colours and shapes freely and giving rhythm to these patterns with various techniques has become a passion for her. For Funda, Ebru is an expression of the soul besides its therapeutic and mystical attribute, her each work is unpretentious yet unique.

Gita Serin was born in Urumiye, Iran in 1973. She moved to Turkey in 2000. Her interest in art started when she decided to take courses on traditional Turkish art, Çini in 2010. In time, she expanded her work to Paper Relief, Wood and Polyester Painting, Kintsugi, Epoxy and One Stroke painting. She continues to display her pieces on various art exhibitions.

Kübra Kırca Demirbaga, who is a scholar of the Turkish Ministry of National Education, is a doctoral student in the School of Education at Durham University, UK. Her research area is about the character development and education of gifted and talented children. She completed her master’s degree in Psychology and Education at the University of Sheffield, UK, in 2017. She received her bachelor’s degree in Psychological Counselling and Guidance at Istanbul University, Turkey, in 2012. In addition to her academic studies, she is interested in art, music, philosophy, and biographic films and documentaries.

Kübra Müjde is the founder and director of the Qbicart Technology and Art School. She is a PhD student, art educator, artist, and museum guide. She is inspired by nature, life and travelling. She was born and raised in Turkey and now lives in the UK. Her aim in life is “To reintroduce art to society” and increase awareness of the existence of art in every experience people encounter. For almost ten years, she has been organizing traveling workshops, museum meetings and one-on-one artistic journeys with children of different nationalities. She also takes part in many volunteer art platforms as an educator, artist and jurist. She hopes to turn the unique works of art of the hundreds of people she has met to into a permanent collection on both physical and digital platforms.

Mine Bayar, was born in Limassol Cyprus, lived in Girne and is currently living in the UK. She works in a comprehensive secondary school as Head of Mathematics which she enjoys very much. Her passion for painting started flourishing in 2015. Since then, she has been experimenting with colours to create abstract paintings which give her immense satisfaction. Throwing paint on a canvas and losing herself in the colours and shapes that she creates, often takes her on a journey which fills her heart with happiness.

Mürüde Mehmet is artist, ceramicist, and teacher. She was born in Lefkosa, and both her parents are from Yesilirmak, Cyprus. She didn’t experience life in Cyprus as she was whisked away to the UK as a baby, growing up in East London amongst Turkish community. She likes to use luscious glazes by layering and firing items many times; the colour glazes bleed and entwine creating a picture that resembles nature, the sky, planets and the universe. As a Community Artist she aims to bring members of the community together in hopes of solving problems, building relationships, and getting involved in ways that rebuild social divisions. She believes arts create opportunities for communities to create their own dialogue and to share their cultural experiences.

Nagihan Seymour is a Surrey based artist specialised in Tezhip (art of illumination) and sacred geometry. Although originally a materials engineer, she has been interested in art since her university years, studying traditional arts in her hometown of Istanbul.
Traditional manuscript illumination and ornamentation formed the main part of Nagihan’s studies, and, as her style developed, she started to combine classic geometrical designs with illumination, whilst adding her own modern twist. This has allowed Nagihan to create her own unique style, whilst sticking to the traditional methods and rules. Drawing inspiration from nature in the design process, one of the more challenging aspects of her works is to simplify and stylise the infinite complexity of the natural world and apply that in her patterns and designs. Nagihan held a solo exhibition titled Reflection and Illumination at The Lightbox in Woking in 2017 which had a very good reception and sales. Her second solo exhibition in The Lightbox was scheduled for May 2020 but, due to the ongoing worldwide situation, it has been postponed to 2021.

Orhun Bora worked with important directors as assistant of director in the advertisement sector in Istanbul short after his graduation from Bilkent University in 2004. In 2012 he established his own company in Ankara, Turkey, which provided both production and post-production services to variety of companies and non-governmental organizations. In 2019 he carried his business to the UK. Recently he joined the climate change movement “Extinction Rebellion” and produced weekly news live broadcast as the director of photography and editor. He is a passionate filmmaker, video journalist and creator of shorts, documentaries and experimental video art in the field of human rights.

Oznur Yenilmez is a artist who has worked in a Adult Education Centre as a Tile art (Çini) teacher. After moving to the UK recently, she continued with some Ceramic courses but she had to take a break of teaching due to Covid 19 pandemic. She decided to try something new to do with the materials that she already had at home. She saw a book about paper quilling and that book caught her interest and so her paper quilling journey began.

Senem Peace was born in Istanbul and currently lives in the UK. She is a professional photographer and self taught artist.
She holds a degree in Archaeology from Istanbul University, and worked in media, first as a photographer, and then as an editor for many years, before moving to UK. During those years on editorial desk, contemporary art was one of her main areas which she was working on. And as a photographer, in years she has developed a notion for art instinctively, which is now helping her in her new path as an artist.

Serdal Guzel was born in Tokat in 1967 and grew up in Istanbul, Turkey. He studied electrical engineering at ITU and worked on many project as an Industrial Automation engineer before joining his wife’s company as an creative director. He started enjoying photography in high school and has taken photographs professionally and amateurly for the last 25 years. He participated in various group exhibitions and his latest project with Deniz Çakır, Rabarba, was exhibited at the 53rd Antalya Film Festival and published as a book. He has been living in London since 2018 and runs a design, production and marketing agency with his wife.

Sibel Pekgöz was born in Amasya, Turkey, and graduated from GÜMEF Fine Arts department in Nevsehir. Between the years 1994 and 2017 she taught Ceramics and Cini in Konya and Ankara. During the years she worked at Ankara Olgunlaşma Enstitüsü, she took part in projects and exhibitions such as Seljuk, Sumerian, Hittite, Ottoman Caftans, Endemic Anatolian Flowers, Mevlana, Matrakçı Nasuh, Anatolian Stars, Piri Reis and Kalyon. Sibel, who has been living in London since 2017, aims to help bridge traditional Turkish arts into modernity. She especially focuses on Cini and her hopes to adapt traditional compositions and forms to fit the artistic world today.

Tomris Buse Oyzoyn-Xhikola is a London-based West Thracian Turk. A small business owner who also works in the hospitality sector. She is currently working towards opening a restaurant with a Balkan and Ottoman inspired theme along with her husband. In her spare time, Tomris creates illustrative artwork, deals with hand crafts and practices makeup artistry. As a first-generation Turkish woman from a Balkan community her work deals with issues of femininity, womanhood, taboo and sensuality. Her mixed-media work combines sketch, illustration, embroidery and beadwork. The playful artwork evokes images and representations of Turkish diasporic and Balkan women typically unseen in traditional artworks.

Umit Demirbaga is a doctoral researcher in the School of Computing, Newcastle University, UK. He received the master’s degree in Computer Science from Newcastle University, UK ,in 2017, and the bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Computer Education from Marmara University, Turkey, in 2011. He loves art, travel and exploring new places. He has a real enthusiasm for photography and literature.

Vedia Asim was born in 1957, Nicosia, Cyprus and graduated from Türk Maarif Koleji. She has lived in the UK since 1976 and acquired BSc in STS Studies. She is currently working in EAL Department of a secondary school. Since the first lockdown, watercolour painting has become her hobby. It gives her joy and inner peace. Her paintings are usually intuitive and she is inclined to paint in abstract or semi-abstract styles and, recently, she has been experimenting with different mediums.

Zerrin Bucakli is a landscape architect who started to study art in high school with his art teacher Süleyman Gürsoy. After a 25 year break she started to paint again in her teacher, Asuman Savuk’s, Art Studio. She wants to improve in this field even as she claims to be amateur. She had a chance to display her works in a solo exhibition called “Purity and Wisdom” in Istanbul-Turkey in 2019.

Ali Ergin was born in 1980, in Ankara, Turkey. He started working in Atabaş Architecture in 2001, while he was a student. In 2004, he received a scholarship from Domus Academy in Italy, in the Department of Interior Architecture. He took part in projects held by famous Italian designers like Aldo Cibic, Fabrizio Lepore, Mario Trimarchi, Michele de Lucchi and designed for influential companies as Fnac, Camper, Natuzzi in Italy. He was an intern designer in Piero Lissoni’s office in Milano. After completed his master’s degree with a distinction honour, he returned to Turkey where he started working as part-time instructor in Hacettepe University. In the mean time he remained as one of the founders of we360design where worked for two years as a design manager. In 2013, he co-founded Ayaz Ergin Interiors Company in Ankara, where he continued to design various projects till 2019. He currently lives in London with his family, where he continues to paint and carry out concept projects as the founder of Ali Ergin Design Studio.

Sohret Basaran Howells was born in Cyprus, but is now living in Exeter, UK. She is an artist, writer and ex-university lecturer who has been practicing art from a young age. She established her studio, ‘The ArtHouse’ in 2016 where she displays her artworks. She playfully explores different avenues of abstraction mainly using acrylics on canvas. However, her inspiration has always been the human figure and symbols in the universe. The colours she uses and combines change depending on the topic and mood. She reflects her feelings strongly and passionately which she believes inherited from her Mediterranean background. She joined more than twenty art exhibitions in London, Exeter and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, four of which were solo exhibitions.

Bahar Ulus was born in Istanbul and she has been living in England since 2018. She mostly works on oil painting and participated in many exhibitions in Turkey and abroad. She joined two exhibitions in England in 2019.

Beril Özeroğlu decided to pursue her career in the UK and set up her own law firm called Ozeroglu Legal and Business Consultancy in London after her masters in University of East Anglia about Commercial and Business Law. She has only started painting on canvas a year ago by watching YouTube channels. Then she realized that she really enjoys drawing and kept drawing during the lockdown.

Behice Kolcak Sark is a Turkish artist, voiceover and radio presenter, living in London since 2010. She graduated from The University of Kocaeli with a major in chemistry, however she pursued a career in art and media. She lived in Azerbaijan, Baku, between the years 2005-2010, she was a student of the Azerbaijani artist Asmar Narimanbekova and took private art lessons from her. Her profession is acrylic and oil paintings on canvases along with drawing satirical illustrations for book and magazine covers. She is one of the illustrators for the English Literature Magazine ‘Firewords.’ She runs her own art and media company called ‘Micromediart’ based in London.

Bilal Köse graduated from Gaziantep University and had his Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering. He was always passionate for art. During his study at the university, he learned graphic design which improved his art skills and became a graphic designer. After his study, he founded a company called Infinite Art Limited, which provides design, tutoring, art, and design consultancy services in London. Some of his projects include designing innovative branding and marketing materials, as well as personalized portraits. The design and construction of old buildings have always attracted his attention. These values are rarely adopted today. As an engineer, I was desperate in this regard, and he wants to raise awareness to this subject through art.

Bora Çetin was born in Eskisehir Turkey in 1984. He studied ceramics and glass at Izmir Dokuz Eylül University Fine Arts Faculty. He began working in ceramic workshops in Izmir in order to gain more experience with ceramic work. In 2013 he established his own ceramic brand ‘Doppiocotto’ in Istanbul. He produced custom-made objects, wall panels for architectural projects, furniture and lighting pieces and, tableware. He also took part in projects for auctions to benefit The Association of Turkish Coffee Culture and research with Turkish coffee cup sets. He currently lives and creates in London ,UK.

Mevlude Yalcin is a self taught London based artist, designer and, teacher. She has specialised in bespoke designs, traditional illumination (tezhip) art, sketching and teaching watercolour florals. She has lead many workshops around London teaching the beautiful art of watercolour florals and basic watercolour techniques. She has also worked with a company producing sketches for their documentary project and producing a logo design for their company in past years.
Alongside this work, she has participated in some humanitarian projects with her art and has had her artworks exhibited.

Ece Koparal graduated from Dokuz Eylul University with a BA degree in Theatre, Dramatic Writing and Dramaturgy. She received her MA in Psychoanalytic Studies from Tavistock and Portman where she is currently completing a degree in Psychoanalytic Observational Studies. Her unique perspective guided her to apply psychoanalytic ideas to the ancient art of paper marbling (Ebru) since early 2019. After crossing paths with her tutor Hayrettin Kozanoglu, who shared his expertise in Ebru with Ece, creating patterns with pigments on water and transferring these to paper has become her way of expressing feelings and thoughts. For Ece, Ebru allows her to explore the links between imagination and the real world and is a passion for her, alongside her work in mental health in children and young people.

Meltem Bayrak is a graduate of Sakarya University, Faculty of Fine Arts, Traditional Turkish Arts, Old Tile Repairs Department. In her professional life, which started after her internship at the Ministry of Culture’s Restoration and Conservation Central Laboratory, she participated as an Art Restorator in the restoration and conservation applications of tiles, carvings and mosaics in important buildings such as Topkapı Palace, Hagia Sophia Museum Mosque, Yıldız Palace, Hatice Turhan Sultan Tomb. After gaining some experience in Turkey, she decided expand into international activities and moved to London in 2019 to he establish the company, Petrik LTD. Thanks to the company She founded, she continues her artistic life by blending traditional techniques with modern designs in London.

Eylül Erva Akın-Kun is a Turkish documentary-based photographer whose work focuses on exploring the common and capturing the everyday life, as well as personal and cultural identities, and how these realities are influenced by environmental factors. Eylül Erva took a course in documenting filmmaking at University College London. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Law at Istanbul University. She is currently pursuing her masters in Intellectual Property and Media Law at Queen Mary University of London.

Sonay Memoglu graduated in 2010 from the Painting Department of Atatürk University Fine Arts Faculty. In 2011, she started her master’s degree at the same university and completed it with her dissertation titled ‘Interpretation of the Masterpieces of Contemporary Art’ under the supervision of Assist. Assoc. Evren Cetin Kavukcu in 2014. She worked as an assistant of Prof. Bünyamin Özgültekin, Prof. Fikret Haşimov and Assist. Assoc. Evren Cetin Kavukcu for Serigraph application workshops.

Terry Katalan is a Turkish-Spanish artist and curator of Sephardic origins. She was born in İstanbul, and after spending many years in Barcelona she is currently based in London. Most of Terrys art work is created with the use of the collage technique, which is a mixture of oil paint and dry flowers. Terry is the founder of Earth Carpet Project, a 9-metre mural collage made from oil paints combined with organic waste and scrap materials to raise awareness for climate change. One of her artworks is currently displayed in the Girona Museum and she received the honorary prize at the Isaac Albeniz Museum in Spain. After curating an exhibition for the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) through the Turkish Embassy in London for the 89th Anniversary of the Turkish Republic, she presented one of her paintings to her Royal Majesty the Queen to celebrate her 60th Jubilee. She has curated multiple exhibitions and her artworks have been exhibited all around the world. Terry intends to make her artwork as dynamic as life itself.

Tijen Ahmet is a London based Turkish Cypriot abstract artist, who mainly works in acrylics. Self-taught, her inspiration is life are her surroundings and mind. Tijen’s art is a reflection of her energetic personality with her canvases often filled with bold colours and vivid textures that are intended to transport her audience into her paintings. Tijen, a City Lawyer and avid blogger says she uses art as her escapism to slow life down.

Tuğçe Özgelen is a mandala artist who graduated from Ege University, Economics in English and have a master’s degree (MSc) from Istanbul University, Department of Marketing. For almost 10 years, she worked as a product manager in the marketing, product management and supply chain departments of various corporate companies. She decided to advance her career in the field of art with Mandala art. She studied at a private Art Academy, getting Mandala technical training and then organized several workshops for children and adults to introduce this art in Turkey. In November 2019, She and another 19 female artists organized the first mandala exhibition in Turkey in Kafka Okur Gallery. She created an art form called as “Zendala” which is a blend of Mandala and Zentangle arts for her different styles of mandalas and branded it with the same name. In the ongoing process, she moved to London to promote her art abroad and established her own company called Zendala Art and Event Marketing.

Melis Erdem is a Turkish artist based in London, with backgrounds in Museum Education and Curation. After obtaining her BA in Photography, she started exploring different forms of art, with led her to establish Studio Halbuki; a space where she practices visual arts, contemporary jewellery, leather glove making, and more. A long-time fan of objects’ ability to tell stories, she worked at the Natural History Museum’s department of education and collections. Feeling a strong pull to explore her heritage and multicultural identity, she was inspired to combine her artistic vision with the skills she gained working in the museum sector, establishing a new cultural platform called Mother Tongue, through which she brings works from artists & makers together and reimagines a collection representing her own Turkish heritage.

Sevim Çakır was born in Bursa and studied at Çanakkale 18 Mart university in the handcrafts department. She started her working life in Topkapı Palace in 1999. Over many years, she worked in various historical restoration and conservation projects in Turkey, largely in Istanbul on tile restoration. In 2001, she started the Topkapı Palace Traditional Turkish Decorative Arts Course under the Ministry of Culture and became a student of Nakkaş Semih Irtes. In 2017, she started her education in the Bursa Faruk Saraç Vocational School of Design, Department of Architectural Restoration. She also taught Traditional Handicrafts and Traditional Pattern Techniques and Applications as a master instructor at the same university. She graduated from the Department of Architectural Restoration in 2019 and moved to London where she still continues her studies on Traditional Turkish Handcrafts.

Sevim Gelgec was born in Turkey. The 51-year-old artist has been working in the financial sector and has focused on drawing and painting over the past three years.

Sevda Uykan was born in Istanbul, Turkey, and lives in West London. She has Serbian roots as her parents are from Novi Pazar, Serbia. Growing up with both Serbian and Turkish cultures has tremendously effected her profession. Throughout her life, Sevda has always been fascinated by cultural diversity. In her artworks she focuses on woman and freedom where she challenges the fear and shame surrounding these themes. Her interest in art was cultivated during her childhood by the influence of her father. She studied Figurative Art/Sculpture at Richmond Art School. Currently she is studying for a MSc in Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy at Metanoia Institute / Middlesex University alongside her art career.

Meltem Firuzan Yilmaz is a professional handcraft designer & artist living in the UK. She graduated from Marmara University at the department of fine arts. She worked at Sisecam Camis Group for 15 years and after retirement she established her own freelance business. Over the course of her business journey in Turkey, she developed close links with many points of sales. These included locations on the famous Princess Islands of the coast of Istanbul where she could sell her art & crafts designs to people coming from across the world. She also provided with numerous workshops and training to people of wide range of ages.

Özgün Evren Ertürk studied graphic design and industrial design at the university. After working as an art director for 6 years, he continues to produce works of various artistic branches. He is inspired by vibrant, chaotic but peaceful cities and loves to play with colours.

Zeynep Yasemin Otman is a amateur artist living in Bristol and is studying the last year of her level 3 art and design course. Her main strengths in art are water colour and sketching based on human emotions and activity. She uses a wide range of media to create these, this can vary from water colour, oil pastels, fine liner to acrylic paints.

Gulsen Cingoz was born in Turkey and lives in the UK. She graduated from Sussex University in the department of psychology. She paints whenever she finds time.

Members of the Jury

Consul General B. Utku Atahan was born in Ankara in 1978. He graduated from the Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Department of International Relations in 2001. He obtained his MA in International Relations from the University of Birmingham in 2002. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey in 2003. He served in Deputy Directorates of NATO, Cultural Affairs, Security, Immigration, Asylum and Visa in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Consul General Atahan was appointed as Third Secretary to the Turkish Embassy in Nairobi, as Vice Consul to the Turkish Consulate General in Cologne and as Counsellor to the Turkish Embassies in Beirut and the Hague between 2005-2018. Since September 15th 2020, he has been serving as the Turkish Consul General in London.

Dr Mehmet Karakus was born in Amasya in 1968. He graduated from Istanbul University, Faculty of Political Sciences, Department of Public Administration. He completed his master in European Union Studies and his PhD in Politics at Newcastle University in England. He worked as visiting researcher at the same university for a while. He served  in various non-governmental organizations as a director and education consultant for many years in the UK. Dr Karakus has been working as Director at London Yunus Emre Enstitüsü since May 2016.

Cevdet Akman was born in 1953 in Tatvan Turkey. He has been painting and drawing since his primary school days, working completely on his own, without the help of others. In 1978 his works and technique with the ballpoint pen were found very interesting by Prof Ozdemir Altan who was at Academy of Fine Art in Istanbul. Cevdet was preferably accepted by Mr Altan as a guest student. In 1979 he was accepted by the Hochschule fur Angewandte Kunst University in Vienna where he immediately embraced “Fantastic Realism” and had the privilege to work with teachers such as Wolfgang Hutter,Rudolf Hausner and Anton Lehmden. Cevdet developed a drawings using ball-point pens with different colours which are appropriate to his architectural references. One piece normally takes approximately one and a half to two years to complete. The subject -ideology in his art is ” Man” which represent human being in life, human struggle, war, starvation, technology, automation and cybernetics. All of this and other events which happen around us, events which we often consider as “ordinary” to put it more precisely, he deals with the effects of these events on people and on humanity and ultimately with their ”mechanicalisation” effect on mankind. However based on this subject he did many detail work establishing a “Blind-Robot “ relationship within the framework of this concept. All his works and exhibitions were under the name of “MECHANICALISATION of MAN”. He also designed Her Majesty the Queen portrait as a mirror and was accepted by the Buckingham Palace.His work has been exhibited and sold at leading outlets in the UK including Harvey Nichols, Earls Court exhibition centre and Lauderdale House. He currently specializes in interior design and consultancy for restaurants and private houses.

Nilay İslek was born and educated in İzmir, Turkey. She graduated from Dokuz Eylül University Fine Art Faculty with her thesis “Sensual Projections” in 2003. She completed her Master degree in the same faculty with the thesis “Visual Culture and Social Memory in the Context of Digital Photography Aesthetics” in 2009. Having started with advertising Photography in 1995, Nilay’s first important international event was the Universiade 2005 Izmir Summer Plays where she was a member of the editorial board. One of her newest projects is the Izmir-Bremen Photography Artist Residency Program “Elsewhere” which ended with a couple of mix exhibitions in Izmir and Bremen between 2017-2018. In 2016, Nilay Islek was entitled with the international title of Fujifilm “X-Photographer” as the first female photographer from Turkey. As an ambassador and official instructor of Fujifilm, she has given “Basic Photography Courses” at the Fujifilm Education Centre in Izmir. She worked as a lecturer in Izmir Economy University between 2015-2018. On the other hand, her academic career is ongoing at the Ege University Faculty of Communication, Radio, Television and Cinema PhD program. Nilay İşlek settled in London in 2018 by qualifying for the Artist Visa, which is given to about 40 people from around the world every year and has established a new branch of her atelier “Artlens London”

Zeynep Şanlı Iqbal’s work focusses on traditional arts and architecture in the contemporary context. She is an architect and artist of Turkish heritage with portfolios include mosques, cultural centres and various historic buildings. Zeynep is a graduate of Architecture from the Vienna University of Technology, Austria. She then pursued architectural practice in Berlin and Istanbul before co-founding her own architectural studio, IK Architecture Group. In 2016, she enrolled onto a master’s degree in Art at the Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts in London, with focus on hand drawings and painting techniques. She was awarded a Distinction for her project as well as the Kairos Prize, presented by Prince of Wales. In 2018, Zeynep gained further recognition when she was awarded the INTBAU Excellence Award in the Emerging Talent category for her design of a Turkish Cultural Centre in London, presented at the INTBAU World Congress. The 2018 Awards attracted 83 submissions from 23 countries, including Albania, Australia, Czech Republic, Guatemala, India, Nicaragua, Pakistan and USA. Recently she has been involved in the Cambridge Islamic Art project to support the community through her art. Today, she continues to work on both art and architecture projects.

Thanks to the team at Yunus Emre Institute in London:

Project Coordinator | Ayşe Gökçen Yücel
Editor | Meryem Küçük
Administrator | Ayşegül Chouseinoglou
Web Designer | Yunus Emre Karadağ

One Comment

  1. Bülent Küçük

    Gerçekten çok hoş, yüz akı bir faaliyet ve güzel bir tanıtım olmuş. Önderlik edenleri, katkıda bulunanları ve sanatçıları tebrik ediyor, çok teşekkür ediyorum.

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