MAYA BALCIOGLU

Born in Istanbul in 1955, she ar­rived in Lon­don in 1977. Studied at Brighton (be­cause it was by the sea) graduating in 1982 and the Slade School of Fine Art, Lon­don, graduating in 1984 supporting her own ed­u­ca­tion by work­ing in fac­to­ries, night shifts and cater­ing jobs. She col­lab­o­rated with Stu­art Bris­ley on The Ceno­taph Pro­ject (1987-1991) and edited the pub­li­ca­tion for this pro­ject.  De­cided to mir­ror a busi­ness and set up a shop as an ex­per­i­men­tal space and a pro­posal to test ideas in pub­lic with an im­me­di­ate and un­am­bigu­ous risk el­e­ment. This space was es­tab­lished within the com­mer­cial par­a­digm, fail­ure was real and meant se­ri­ous losses. It had a core iden­tity es­tab­lished by pre­sent­ing cer­tain ‘goods’, other than that it had no am­bi­tions as a busi­ness and its pur­pose was kept de­lib­er­ately un­clear. The flex­i­bil­ity of the spec­u­la­tion proved to be a light footed suc­cess. The “shop” was voted as one of the best 50 in the world. At the height of its suc­cess the busi­ness was no longer rel­e­vant. It be­came a model for oth­ers to fol­low, and there­fore was closed.  Maya Bal­cioglu is part of the cu­ra­to­r­ial team of the Mu­seum of Or­dure.

LUNGLEY GALLERY EXHIBITIONS
- Recent Drawings and Fabric Works 05/08 - 25/09/2021.

Untitled (Red quilt) (2021)
Cotton embroidery and pva on cotton and wool, 90 cm x 86 cm.

Recent Drawings and Fabric Works

Statement for Lungley Gallery

I started working with fabric during the first lockdown. I am not sure what exactly triggered this other than a general sense of no progress, as if continuously rereading the same page, I was looking for an intermediary form, a go-between, a sense of potential in the long stretched present. I had been working with mylar, cutting film strips, painting, but this was a mechanical application of ideas about time and motion, in essence no different to painting or drawing.

At the same time, I was witnessing people arriving in dinghies on the beach in front of our house, seeing them coated with blankets, surrounded by border police, ambulances, rescue workers, a different level opens up.

The power of what I was seeing in these huddled images are present, combined with the power of thought they traffic in the gaps of the mind. So the fabric works are studies of introspection, methods of stripping finite analysis, through the agency of anachronic atmospheres in which time stands still. In these works objects are expressions, brutal at times and irrational. They are deconstructions; taking things apart, expressing reversal and internal workings. Stitching is about focus on the object, it is slow, intentional and limitless. It is also a tool to reject certainty.

Drawings speak for themselves. It’s my primary tool, it is as essential as the self and the ego. It is vital and intimate in every sense. It grounds and reflects knowledge. And yet what it identifies cannot be reduced to acquired knowledge through sensory organs. It is a dance of reflective experience and an affirmation of life.

Gogol said that the function of the image is to express life itself, not ideas or arguments about life. 

I would add that image is a momentary illumination with a flicker of truth.

Maya Balcioglu

Dungeness, July 2021


 

Untitled (Bed Piece 4) (2021)
Ink on found quilt, embroidery in wool and cotton thread, 150 cm x 200 cm.

Untitled (Bed Piece 4) (2021) (detail)

Untitled (Bed Piece 4) (2021) (detail)

Maya Balcioglu Untitled (3 Tondos) (2021) Ink, etching ink, kaolin on paper 55 cm (Diameter) each.

Untitled (3 Tondos) (2021)
Ink, etching ink, kaolin on paper 55 cm (Diameter) each.

Untitled (2019-20)
Ink, acrylic ink, powder pigment, acrylic glaze medium on board. 100 cm x 100 cm.

Untitled (2019)
Latex on agricultural tool, 38 cm x 25 cm x 8 cm.

Untitled (Diptych)
Left to right: Untitled (1998) Ink on paper, 37.5 cm x 37.5 cm Untitled (2020) Ink on paper, 30 cm x 38 cm.
Float mounted and framed.
Included in the group exhibition 175 Wardour Street at Lungley gallery, 2020.

Installation view: Maya Balcioglu (2021) at The MAC Belfast.

Statement for exhibition at MAC Belfast 2021

The works in this show span a period of 15 years.

The large ink drawings on paper were done between 2006-10.

The map drawing in 2019, latex works between 2019-20 and the more recent fabric works cover the period from the first lockdown in May 2020 to now.

Almost all the works, mostly drawings and books from the last 30 years hover around formlessness, writing, stains left from bodily fluids and stigmata like appearances located in an in-between state of consciousness and slumber. Many of the half recognisable figures are in repose, neither figurative nor abstract, it’s an intermediary condition.

In this show, the ink drawings from 2006-10 fold into each other as one continuous movement. They start with an autobiographical reference; witnessing the bathing, wrapping the body in a white shroud and burial of a person close to me, the body laid out on muddy earth and then covered. I imagined how the body slowly lost it’s form, eaten by creatures as it decayed. From this point on drawings coil and move.

Latex works continue in the same general direction. Where the figures drawn in ink were often asleep or dead, I see the latex works as a skinning, removal of the outer layer, the surface of the body that holds everything inside in-together has been flayed.

In the most recent fabric works the shroud seems to have reappeared as found pieces of fabric, often previously used or left as remnants which are sold cheaply. Some of them have had lives as table linens, curtains, bed covers, dresses etc. Stitching is both holding together what otherwise might fall apart as well as text, note or as an entry.

I have been thinking about these more like montages. Much like the map drawing which was a piece of paper on which I worked to make other works.

I did not determine how these fabrics or this paper on the table began their lives. I’m bringing forward objects that were left aside, half completed or represent aspirations.

It’s a detour.

Maya Balcioglu
Dungeness, 2021

Untitled (2009-10)
Ink on paper, 125 x 155 cm.

Untitled (2009-10)
Ink on paper, 125 x 155 cm.

Untitled (2009-10)
Ink on paper, 125 x 155 cm.

Untitled (2009-10)
Ink, etching Ink and beeswax on paper, 125 x 155 cm

 

Untitled (2007-08)
Ink on paper, 125 x 155 cm.

Untitled (2007-08)
Ink on paper, 125 x 155 cm.

Untitled (2007-08)
Ink on paper, 125 x 155 cm.

Installation view: Maya Balcioglu (2021) at The MAC Belfast.

Untitled (Bed Piece 1) (2020)
Ink drawing on found cotton quilt, embroidery in wool and cotton thread, 147 cm x 200 cm.

Untitled (Bed Piece 1) (2020) [detail]

Untitled (2020-21)
Ink drawing and cotton and linen embroidery on linen fabric, 203 cm x 145 cm.

Untitled (2021)
Left
: Antique Turkish bath cloth stitched with cotton thread. Right: Cotton backed silk khadi, stitched with various cotton threads. 81 cm x 97 cm.

Untitled (2021)
Ink drawing and cotton and linen embroidery on linen table cloth, 153 cm x 137 cm.

Installation view: Maya Balcioglu (2021) at The MAC Belfast.

Untitled (2019-20)
Latex and fish glue. 200 cm x 154cm.

Untitled (2019-20)
Latex, fish glue with acrylic paint and acrylic medium. 100 cm x 445 cm.