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The Book of Streets



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The Book of Streets is a series of paintings influenced by the work of the miniature painters of the Ottoman and Persian dynasties and the artist’s own experiences of living and working in Istanbul. The project originates from time researching and making work around 14th century miniaturist and storyteller Siyah Kalem (The Black Pen). A fifteen-year inquiry that inspired several artists’ residencies and exhibitions in both Istanbul and the UK. Culminating in the 2020 museum exhibition and installation Nomadic Tales, at the Millennium Galleries, in Sheffield.

The main concept of The Book of Streets centers around the production methods and styles of the miniaturists. In particular, ideas around demarcation and also the hierarchy present within the original artisans’ studios of the period. The work itself takes the landscape, architecture, and vistas of the Istanbul as its source material, appropriating from the texture of the city, street art, and folk narratives.

Presented as an installation, The Book of Streets is a series of 12 large-scale and colorful wall hangings. The intention of which is, to take the audience on an immersive and intimate journey through the streets and stories of Istanbul, as they gaze across the city and sea from one viewpoint to another.

The Book of Streets is funded by Arts Council England.
























Image by Elif Çelebi
























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