'The Response through the Senses' - Buse Tanil Interview


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Buse Tanil is a contemporary artist, born in 1994 in Izmir, Turkey, the second-largest port city situated on the Aegean Sea. Throughout her life, Buse has always been fascinated by art, both creating and appreciating the emotions that are represented with hers and others work. This passion and interest was cultivated during her teenage years and further developed when she opted to take her degree at Yeditepe University, Istanbul in Plastic Arts.

The “Sensitivity” series is intended to focus, not on attempting to tell a story, or force a particular response that she feels is appropriate, but to allow the viewer to project their own emotions and sensations to transcend within her future art.
With bold colours and textures that allow the viewer to respond with their own emotions and sensations, but also reflect on how they process those sensitivities through remembrance.
The series was represented at her debut UK exhibition at the Brick Lane Gallery, London.

Our sensations are concerned with emotions of the soul as much as knowledge. The German psychologist Theodor Lipps is best known for his theory of “Empathy” stating it as; the act of projecting oneself into the object of a perception. According to Lipps, when we look at art, the sentiment of art is not what is projected to ourselves by the artist. It is our sensation that we project to the art.

I reflect my sensitivity within my art through my own sensations.

Buse is a passionate advocate of abstract expressionism. Abstract art gives freedom to an artist to be concerned with emotion, rather than a physical form. Her final pieces use large canvasses to emphasise strong feelings and emotions. Buse has always been fascinated by colour and texture, as well as how people respond through their senses. The colours and depth of texture using mixed media for each piece depended on her mood at the time of creating it. Although she has projected her own emotions into the work, the purpose of these pieces is to understand the viewers perception an how closely their feelings align with the artist.

How and when did you start creating art?

When I was younger, I read a newspaper interview with Phillippe Starck. His father was an aircraft engineer and he lived in an artistic family that pushed him to follow his dream as a creative. In high school I made a decision to follow this path too and thankfully, my parents helped to guide my passion and excitement for it. They were a real inspiration and strength for me.

Why have you decided to focus on abstract art for your latest works, as opposed to a figurative style?

I have created figurative pieces in the past, however this series is more based on emotion and sensations. When I paint abstract art, I feel more free and find it easier to convey my own emotions. Abstract work is an unlimited space for both an artist and an art lover. This sense of freedom enhances creativity and breathes life and meaning into the work.

Talking about cultural origins. Would you say the fact that you are Turkish is reflected in your work?

The richness of Turkish culture naturally enriches my work. This has helped me develop as an artist. We are a very passionate people, lovers of art, architecture, music and history. Istanbul in particular hosts many languages, religions and cultures and has wonderful contemporary art in many galleries around the city.

What are your main artistic sources and influences?

There aren’t any specific artists that have influenced my work. I think that you are likely to simply recreate their work, rather than develop yourself as an artist. What I like to do, however is to explore many artists, whether by attending galleries, reading magazines, or as importantly, social media, like Instagram. There is such a wealth of information out there, all of which helps me to understand new techniques and understand the meaning behind other artists creations.

Has living in London helped shape your work in any particular way?

At the moment, I am living between both London and Istanbul. It is fantastic to live in Istanbul, because you have that divide between Europe and Asia. However London, brings together artists from all over the world. Each having different styles and interpretations of art that inspire my work.

What challenges do you feel young artists need to overcome in today’s art market, both in Turkey and in the UK?

I think the main problem for someone starting out is simply creating a platform for people to see your work and appreciate it. It’s no different I’m sure than any other market than today’s, however fortunately now we live in a time of social media and entrepreneurs that are willing to help those artists such as ChromArt. It’s a really important skill, to be able to promote yourself. Simply being a fantastic painter, probably won’t get you very far without it.


Your work is visually very powerful, can you tell us about the techniques to deliver such textures and 3D effects?

That’s a trade secret.

What projects are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on a new series called “Illusion”. It follows on from my “Sensitivity” portfolio, which tries to understand peoples sensations and sensitivities. The new work goes further to show how someone may focus on that particular emotion, which is false from how they feel in reality. I’m also creating a series of 3D abstract paintings using glass, named “Female Fragrance”. Take a look at my Instagram page to see a few of my early pieces.

What would be your ideal artistic collaboration?

Over the past year, I have been investigating the use of glass in my work. There is a fantastic glass sculptor, Dale Chihuly that I have admired for a long time. The opportunity to work with him would be wonderful.

What plans have you got for the near future?

I just want to continue to develop as an artist. I really love learning new techniques and want to simply enjoy living in this amazing city. I hope I can reach more people in the UK including artists, studios and art platforms. I see a great opportunity working with ChromArt at your next Tribe Event. I can’t wait to see it.

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