TDS News interviews Turkish artist Deniz Sağdıç. Hear what she has to say about her life, beliefs, and the meaning behind her works
Deniz Sağdıç was born into a family of craftspeople. With her father a glass master, uncle a glass designer, and aunt’s tailors, she had many opportunities to explore creative outputs. As a child, she stained glass in her father’s glasshouse. She also sold hand-made bags composed of her aunts’ fabric snippings. While applying stained glass to a building, an adolescent Deniz knew she wanted to pursue a career in creativity. This path became definitive when she was accepted into Mersin University’s Faculty of Fine Arts in 1999, where she studied until 2003. She excelled in her talent exam and continues to make awe-inspiring artwork to this day. Though, it should be noted, that Deniz doesn’t believe in ‘inspiration.’
Instead, Deniz believes in “hard work,” and that an artist’s efforts are the reason for a piece’s creation. Faces do hold importance to her, however. More specifically, she states that one of humanity’s most integral gestures for communication is widely overlooked—looking. Through our eyes, humans are not only able to express a variety of emotions, thoughts, and feelings, but interpret those of others. It is no surprise that eyes are so prevalent throughout Deniz’s artwork. Through eyes, we are able to see “what a person is.” Through Deniz’s eyes, she sees faces cluttered with waste; a product of what we consume. Her artwork serves to remind people of this, rather than be blissfully ignorant to this fact.
Deniz loves the challenge of working work with new and exciting materials. In the shortest of times, she can spend three weeks on a project, excluding the preparation process. For larger ventures, such as tying over 20,000 cables or sewing more than 15,000 waste buttons, she can spend months working. In her Ready-ReMade project, she uses recycled and reused materials in a sustainable fashion. Often, people reach out to Deniz to donate waste to her. She further states that “If I can make art with garbage, you can do something about it in your fields of expertise or in your home.”
In Turkey, there has been a shift to become more sustainable as a whole. Wildlife conservation, hydroelectric power establishment, and waste management have been increasing in popularity. Deniz stands as a beacon of excellence, with the national—and even global—drive of sustainability being reflected in her work. Art as a cultural phenomenon will continue to evolve with the planet. In the current era, there is a requirement for sustainable practices and a yearning for new meaning.
Deniz Sağdıç encapsulates the drive, tenacity, and ingenuity required of society, and will continue to influence human culture for decades to come. Her art will continue to inspire generations of art lovers while emphasizing the need for sustainably. Her passion for art and life are some of the reasons why her creations continue to be in high demand around the world. You can see many of her great works on her Instagram page, @denizsagdicart.