Nilhan Sesalan whose works are in numerous collections, parks and museums around the world can be regarded as the representative of lyrical abstraction. The artist who also contributes to life with her designs and writings says in a poem:
“I love my thoughts,
the process in which they make me believe…
when I am convinced they will not leave me
I transfer them to a material and I say ‘done’.
With that energy, I can hold my breath longer
and find power for life.”
Ferah Feza, Evliyagil Dolapdere, 2020
Ferah Feza, 2020
Sesalan is an artist who blends feeling and knowledge with the most favourable materials and colours which she ‘seeks for’ with a visceral sincerity. In her works, she brings together the intrinsic and the beyond sometimes through a ‘shell’, sometimes through a ‘nail’, and at other times through an interpretation which is an “embodiment” in itself while also paying home to shadow and texture. Producing with an empathy which lets neither the material nor the meaning go to waste, she does not diferentiate between bulk and particle… Therefore in Sesalan’s knowledge of existence and the world, informed by what we can claim to be her existentialist approach, life and death exists in the same body; just like in her own works. The distant and the near are derived from each other with a relative, but transcendent awareness…
Even though Nilhan Sesalan’s silent yet highly expressive and heavily-burdened sculptures apparently leave their residue behind, they never escape the latter. At the very most, this residue becomes invisible. ey leave their souls, feelings, secrets, and whispers in the nooks and crannies of the sculptures. Just like poetry, and just like lyrics, these sculptures hide their secret worlds for you to discover, feel delighted, and to interpret them from your own personal perspective. The residual parts of the finalized sculpture, which fall down while carving out time, come together in another manner as parts of the psyche of the sculpture, and find themselves a place within it…
Beral Madra : Since the beginning of your career as an artist in the 1990s, you have been producing work which focuses on nature and traditions which relate to it; particularly your stone and wood work demand attention. Ecological awareness in the 1990s was not what it is today; with what kinds of feelings and intentions you began producing your work? Could you elaborate briefly on your earlier works?
Nilhan Sesalan : As a young adult who was in her early twenties in the 90's, I was approaching everyday life, and everything humans called 'progress' in quite a curious manner, and the universe which we all are a part of excited me.
The two sculptures I named “Seed" embraced their red interior with their yellow bark in a single-pace juniper tree. When I look back at these works which were my first original compositions, I also notice the timidity in those works which was brought about by our existence within this oscillating universe.
Beral Madra - Nilhan Sesalan / Artist Talk
Beral Madra, Evrim Altuğ, Cem Sorguç