CSUN Show to Explore Tradition of Women's Art in Anatolia, Turkey
(NORTHRIDGE, Calif., Jan. 20, 2006) -- The colors are rich and vibrant. The details are intricate and provocative. And each piece in the forthcoming exhibition at Cal State Northridge's Art Galleries tells the story of its artist and the rich tradition of women's art in the Anatolia region of Turkey.
The CSUN Art Galleries will present for the first time in the Los Angeles area approximately 100 pieces from collections in Turkey and Southern California that display the vibrant legacy of Anatolian women's arts. Women's Art of Anatolia opens Saturday, Feb. 4, and will run through March 30.
"We hope that the show will give visitors a better understanding of the experiences and messages of the women who have been making this art for centuries," said CSUN assistant art professor Owen Doonan, who has taught art history at universities in Turkey, Germany and the United States since receiving his Ph.D. at Brown University in 1993. Since 1996, Doonan has directed the Sinop Regional Archaeological Project, which does research in the Black Sea region of Turkey. He has published a book on the subject, "Sinop Landscapes: Exploring Connection in the Hinterland of the Black Sea Port."
The Anatolia region of Turkey has served as a bridge between Europe and Asia for thousands of years. It has also been home to a remarkable tradition of women's art.
"Women have been making the items on display in the CSUN exhibition for family and friends to use over hundreds, or even thousands of years," Doonan said. "Vibrant visual messages expressing love, protection and hopes for the future are built into each object through brilliant colors and bold abstract motives."
Anatolian women have passed their artistic techniques and skills from mother to daughter and from generation to generation over the centuries. It is often said in the region that in traditional Anatolian society a woman has little freedom to express herself openly, thus the arts have been a primary vehicle to provide women with this freedom.
]The exhibition explores how Anatolian women have expressed themselves and created identities through art in four distinct contexts: economy, art process, domestic activities and personal narratives. The show includes weaving, clothing, jewelry, prints, manuscripts, written and performing arts as well as interactive displays, music and videos related to the subject matter.
"Throughout the exhibition, attention is paid to the artistic as well as economic opportunities that have been available to Anatolian women through the creating of this beautiful art," said co-curator Nursel Uckan-Doonan, who leads the Sinop Regional Archaeological Project's ethno-historical field team.
Many of the objects in the show are personal items created by the artists for use in every day life, either by themselves or by other villagers.
"It's rare to see objects that have such a personal element," said graduate art student Jennifer Olson, who has worked on the exhibition. "There is a prayer rug that actually has the hand and knee marks of the person who has used it. It's beautiful."
A reception celebrating the exhibition's opening is scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m. on Feb. 4 at the galleries, located between Plummer and Halstead streets just east of Etiwanda Avenue.
A gallery lecture about the show is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Monday. Feb. 6.
For more information about Women's Art of Anatolia or exhibitions, call the CSUN Art Galleries at (818) 677-2156 or visit their Web site at www.csun.edu/artgalleries/.