2019 Fatoş Üstek / The Clarity of Acceptance
  A Separate Reality / Gallery Milli Reasurans

“To be born again,’ sang Gibreal Farishta tumbling from the heaveans, ‘first you have to die. Ho ji! Ho ji! To land upon the bosomy earth, first one needs to fly Tat-taa! Takatun! How to ever smile again, if first you won’t cry? How to win the darling’s love mister, without a sigh?” The binaries of happiness and woe, trouble and ease, misfortune and luck exist hand in hand. Without its opposition, they epistemologically and factually disappear.” *

To produce means subtraction, in order to multiply again. The artist, holding the power to transform the everyday object into an art object, also holds the wisdom for creation. In order to give birth to something new, one needs to let go of old beliefs, old ways of being. However, it may not prove to be as easy as it sounds. There, in the moment of creative urge arising, tension is ignited; and holding onto one’s aspirations, dreams, desires and knowledge becomes necessary and significant. Uncertain of what is due to happen, leads to holding on what needs moving, changing and letting go. Besides the hardship of configuring which of the parts (of the self) one needs to surrender and put into death, letting go in itself is a loss. And every loss comes with pain, as every lack substantiates its ruptured growth. Through losing, one gains space to add on the new, howe- ver never as a substitute. Creation does not stand for a chain of formalising replacements for what is left behind, on the contrary it is an initiation of the unthought. Philosopher and writer Jacques Derrida’s hypothesis in producing the word ‘unthought’ rises from the fact that there is always a not yet conceptualised thinking, an idea that is not yet discovered. This progressive constellation aids philosophical advancement, giving the predecessors’ space to reflect on and juxtapose the given, in order to arrive at a new idea, to be then followed by another one... and yet another, through generations and centuries. The cyclicality of thinking is then, a spiralling movement instead of a vicious cycle. Although at times, the phases of production, the eve of giving birth to something new, something unexplored might prove to be the hardest challenge. To think anew, one needs unlearning. To give anew, one needs ability to receive. The binary of happiness, as author Salman Rush- die punctuates, lies hand in hand with the opposing forces requiring acceptance, the differences need be accommodated, yet alone celebrated as they enable progress. The difference needs to be accepted, moreover it needs to be celebrated for the fact that it causes progress to happen. The prosperity brought by understanding and welcoming the birth/death/rebirth cycle, diversifies the initial thought, the intent into a constellation of outcomes. Here, the true challenge lies in turning a collection of separate entities, however distinctive, into a dynamic site of experiencing and reflecting, on personal narratives, respective psychic paths and one’s own uneasy and unsure mutual connectedness.

Secil Erel, contemplates on intuition and employs the method of chance in her solo exhibition entitled A Separated Reality. The collection of works are outcomes of a transition that she has been through personally and professionally. The series are results of mediations on a wide array of themes, while the compositions rise on the encounters she swam through during her journey. Through these paintings, she attempts and steps into another world of realm, her layers gain dimensions, her compositions gain curves and at times figures. Her abstraction tenses into a figuration while her compositions burst into abstractions. It is a fine balance, and a talented act to keep both vital forces in equilibrium. The wisdom of painting, as she names it, starts and ends with equanimity: a healthy distance to be enwrapped with colour, enchanted by light and calmed by the clarity of acceptance. Erel’s inquiry into the unknown, embracing not-knowing as a trait to her urgency for production, is a demanding battle. Through which, her use of colour, her sense of light and construction of multi-dimensionality on a two-dimensional space of expression, is remarkable. Her use of expanded canvas, utilising more than three panels into an installation, is almost a compulsory act for the manifestation of her truth. Alliance, 2018 is composed of 11 panels of varying sizes, resulting in a composition of contingent mirroring, where the curvature of the golden rule provides the ground. The 11 panels when together manifest a space, a space that can be accessed through assuming the work as the entry point to itself. The balance of light diffusing onto the canvas, supports this inclination of stepping into another reality, a place of tranquillity and inner peace. Supported by its scale, the painting humbles its recipient, providing a gateway to retreat, and tap into worldly delights in the mind’s eye. The pieces Be Grateful, 2018 and Respect, 2018 employ a similar terrain of multiplication, where the forms and layers engage in a connected and responsive relationship with one another. While the former is composed of four parts, employing different colour gradients to convey this opening up, engaging with the artistic quest and surrendering to the flow, the latter hosts the proliferation of centrally expanding layers. Erel’s meditations of concepts she has adhered to her paintings, her expansion of the use of form, resonate with Ancient Eastern philosophies and the wisdoms collated through spiritual experience. However, the exhibition does not only rise on the theological threads of knowing, but also the scientific inquiry that aids human kind to engage with and elucidate the essence of life through observation of forms and patterns.

Knowledge as it were, requires skilful emancipation of the invisible in the equation of reality. It precipitates a sheer urge to relate to and moreover to fuse with the new. Secil Erel works with calculated uncertainty and conscious incompleteness, the catalysts for invigorating change while producing the harvest of the quiet eye. She transforms, translates, distorts, modifies and creates associations. Moreover, through her processes of production she regenerates, provides active webs of alliances and most significantly regenerates all that there is. The piece composed of seven distinct panels, Balance, Imagination, Intuition, Trust, Joy, Fertility, and Root, 2018 is the outcome of such transformation, through which it aspires healing by implementing a shift in perception. She references the colours assigned to seven chakras that are believed to anchor the human element. The pillar formed of these seven panels, alt- hough narrow opens up to a verticality of thinking, connecting the dimensions of the earth and the sky.

Contemplating on the here and now, provides a gateway to re-placing the past and the future. Through instructed and necessitated change amplified by the surrounding realities one may arrive at the crossroads of being present in the present moment, to stand only with one’s self and along/amidst the crowd of all others. Secil Erel’s works surface as the outcomes of an extensive road that has been travelled, with dignity and faith, through hardships and confusions. A Separated Reality is the crystallisation of her acceptance, of what it is, how it is and why it is, with ‘all that there is’ infused with her surrender in the flow of things.