1. Welcome Aysha to The Influx Gallery family. Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you are from?
Thank you so much, happy to be a part of The Influx Gallery. I am originally from Istanbul and immigrated to Vancouver Canada in 2011.
Art is a late comer to my life even though I have been always in some sort of creative process. I studied marketing and had a career in fragrance industry and eventually became an entrepreneur in hospitality business in Istanbul. Then we moved to Vancouver when I was 42 for a better future for our girls.
2. Were your family supportive of you deciding to become an artist?
Yes, they are. My older daughter is also an art student. I feel lucky to be able to talk about art and our projects with each other.
3. Was there anything specific that you can remember that made you want to become an artist?
Trauma made me an artist. Immigration is a massive trauma, especially if it is at a later stage of one’s life. The unfortunate part is that, many who goes through it are not even aware of that, since starting a new life away from one’s root and support groups is taking all their energy. That is what I experienced as well. I was fragile and vulnerable but always on the go and busy building up our new identity. I say our because being a mom got even harder when I was dealing with such trauma as a family. I was very lucky to realize that art can be my healer.
4. Did you’re schooling or work affect your creative development in any way?
I did start my art journey at Dr. Niulfar Moayeri’s, “Persian/Canadian contemporary artist” art studio. Nilufar has lived and studied in Istanbul and her work is mostly about Middle Eastern women. She has inspired me not only with her technique but also the contemporary aesthetic interpretation of issues of today’s women in Middle East. This made me think about how to reflect social or emotional traumas through non disturbing, aesthetic looking contemporary art. Eventually I started to create my own process and technique.
I am still a student at Emily Carr University Continuing Studies, and I love the feeling of being a student in life at all levels and challenging myself with different medias and techniques.
5. Where do you get your inspiration and influences from?
My life experiences and nature are my inspirations.
6. Do you have a favourite mixed media technique?
Collage and acrylic paint are mostly the techniques I use.
7. We love your experimental mixed media works. Could you give us a little teaser as to your creative process?
My creative process starts with photography. I love having long nature walks, visit the city and monumental, historical places. When I walk and travel, I hunt for patterns in nature and all other images I can use in my art. Then I create a digital piece where I am putting out my message. Then I apply the high-quality print of that image to canvas and start painting, collaging, and creating more texture through some other techniques.
8. What was your most enjoyable piece to create?
“Sinner” and “Trapped” are two of my favourite pieces. These two belong to my series of “Angels of Istanbul”. It is about the women murders in the East due to social and traditional pressures of the society. Most of the pieces in this series are about women but these two are about the men who are also victims of the traditional social roles assigned to male dominance.
9. How you see your mixed media pieces evolving over the next 10 years?
I think mixed media is the future of art in many ways. Every day we see art being more diversified and having more synergistic relations with other disciplines. For example, we see more art in science and more science in art. Mixed media is the best art form to reflect this diversity. I am especially excited to see how multi-disciplinary approaches will lead mixed media art in the future.
10. Do you collect art or have a favourite painter?
I only collect mine, I have few pieces I owned over the time, but I cannot really call myself a collector at that sense yet!
11. Thanks a lot for your valuable time and interest. You can include any other details you want to talk about here?
I thank you for giving me a chance to be the part of your gallery.