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ON SHOW

SURROUNDED BY

TUFAN BALTALAR

29 MARCH - 5 MAY

Pilot Gallery will be hosting Tufan Baltalar’s solo exhibition titled “Surrounded By” between the dates 29 March and 5 May.

Baltalar is an artist who tries to find his freedom during journeys into his inner world. Self-exploration, discovering what he has in common with others and finally sharing what he finds are the primary motivations of his art. At times of chaos, Baltalar retreats to his inner citadel, and tries to save what can be saved. This citadel is untouchable and he imagines that loneliness come across and speak to each other in privacy in an aggressively loud world. 

The exhibition “Surrounded by” refers to one of those chaotic periods and Baltalar presents a series of paintings that depicts trees and plants on pieces of land that have broken off from the mainland and became islands. The exhibition focuses purely and simply, even persistently on this image. It is unknown how these islands were formed and how the trees survived the storms. These miniature islands with no animal and human inhabitants feel like bonsai* or planets. These paintings, shaped between the feeling of being trapped in a narrow space and the anxiety of being surrounded by water, bear traces of a nervous state of mind at first. Yet, each of them tells a story of determination and resistance. These islands -similar to Little Prince’s rose, of whom he has taken great care- transform into symbols of resistance, at any cost, against the outer world.

From Ancient Greek myths to Robinson Crusoe to the Island of Dr. Moreau and to The Beach, islands have been one of the most treasured motifs both in literature and popular culture. Throughout the ages, they have stirred the imagination and occupied creative minds as the smallest spatial setting for utopias. Islands have been a gateway, a heavenly space and sometimes a place for outsiders, quarantine. Many stories had been written not just about the difficulty of going to an island but also the impossibility of leaving it. The sea surrounding the island has been both a place of heaven and impossibility. 

In Jung’s analysis, large bodies of water symbolize the unconscious and islands represent the ego, in other words, the conscious minds. Sometimes psychoanalysts suggest to their patients to draw islands, as such they are all self-portraits in a form of landscape. The island as a self-portrait takes us back to the beginning of the story, Odyssey: island as a self-portait.

Untitled, 2017, oil on canvas, 90x70 cm