Ipek Kotan is a ceramic artist from Turkey. Her current show, Inside Out, is on view at Brutto Gusto Fine Arts (Berlin, November 6 – December 20). A minimalist, Kotan states that her work is born from “a visceral need to create with my hands using natural materials and a love of the vessel form.” She states:
Being one of the oldest objects ever made and still one of the most essential even after 30,000 years, the vessel for me is an embodiment of timelessness, endurance and the universality of the human experience. I am interested in what this form symbolizes and create sculptural, modern, minimalist and tactile variations of it.
Even the slightest adjustment to the angle or sharpness of a rim, the thickness or the contour of a wall, the relationship of textures and colors between the interior and the exterior can make a world of difference in the character of a piece. This exploration of nuances is the essence of my work in which simplicity, modernity and minimalism are recurring themes.
Kotan recently interviewed with Art Aurea’s Reinhold Ludwig about her work. Below are a few questions from that interview. Please read the full piece here.
AA The second important thing for you is the deep connection to the vessel form.
IK The connection to the vessel form comes from having grown up in Turkey where from an early age I was exposed to archeology. Since then I’ve had the chance to live in different parts of the world and the more places I saw, the more I realized that humans, no matter where they live or what era they live in, have more similarities than differences. Vessels being one of the oldest and most commonly discovered objects in archeological sites the world over is to me evidence of the universality of the human experience. The vessel has been around for at least 30,000 years. Both in a metaphysical and pragmatic sense it is so tightly woven into the story of humankind. I can’t think of a better object to use as the foundation of my work to show that we are all connected and part of a much bigger picture.
AA Your finished vessels are beautiful, harmonious, minimalistic objects. They also remind me of sacrificial vessels. This is highlighted the copper glaze you use to give them an archaic look.
IK I love observing geological formations, particularly earth, sand and rocks. Gemstones such as amethyst or pyrite are very interesting in the way that they can look like common rocks from the outside, but when you look inside them, you discover this magnificent microcosm. It’s as if all the beauty in the universe got extracted and distilled into these little colorful rocks of shimmery, glassy or metallic crystals. That’s the kind of beauty I’m striving for. Minimalism is simply a tool for purification so I can get to work on what really matters to me, the details. The ceremonial feel comes from the emphasis on the sculptural aspect of the works. I only glaze the interiors and sand the exteriors until they’re very smooth, like marble. The contrast between the inside and the outside is delightful, like the ordinary looking exterior of an amethyst rock and its breathtaking, rich and complex interior.
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