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Tradition & Modernity, Nevin Yapıcı Yeşilyurt

Nevin Yapıcı Yeşilyurt was born in Sulusaray, Tokat. She completed her primary and high school education in İstanbul and graduated from the Theology Faculty of Yalova University. Nevin started her journey as a traditional miniature artist in 2015. She opened her studio Atölye Nevrenk 2021. Her works have featured in many exhibitions. Nevin has illustrated a childrens book Leyla ve Renkli mixing modern illustration and miniature art. She continues her works in her studio in Üsküdar, Istanbul.

We talk to Nevin about her journey as a miniature artist and creating a distinct unique style.

Your works are inspired by traditional painting techniques, how did your journey working with traditional art forms begin?

I have always been interested in art since my childhood. Zeynep Özel, who has been my mentor my whole life, discovered my talent and she led me into miniature art. After that, I began to take traditional miniature art lessons which I continued for 5 years.

Where do you find inspiration to create your work?

I don’t believe I need to research anything special to inspire me. The most important inspiration for me is working hard. If you work hard and focus on work, life becomes source of inspiration for your art.

What are your aspirations as an artist, what do you hope to achieve?

I don’t have any goals of winning awards or becoming famous. My aim is to make my artwork known to those who recognise its value. If I can manage to awaken good feelings in them, I can complete my mission. According to my art understanding, each work is like an invitation card to enter the imagination language world of the artist, someone accept the invitation some rejected. In short, it is a matter of improving myself and finding one who understand same language.

How do you create your colour compositions?

Although artificial intelligence creates art using algorithms, fuzzy logic, and mathematical computing, what happens when a human holds a brush? I have no special colour palette. When I hold my brush, I let my feelings lead to colours.

Your work expresses the rich heritage of Islamic art and culture. What has the response of audiences been?

The majority of audiences like them. There are two mainstreams in miniature now: modern and traditional. My position is to stay in the middle. I put it this way: don't reject tradition; instead, benefit from modernity. I think the audience understands what I am trying to do.

Why is the preservation of cultural heritage important?

Let me answer this question with a metaphor. Heritage and tradition are our memories. If you lose your memory, you have to re-learn everything from the beginning. We have to understand the material and spiritual heritage of our ancestors. Our experiences constitute our memory. If there is no memory, there is no consciousness, there is no future.

What has been the most challenging work you have created and how did you overcome obstacles? What has been the highlight of your career so far?

I am a graduate of theology and had no intention of opening a studio. But when the circumstances changed, I realized that I was going to do something other than art. The process of opening the studio was a really tough one. My husband and family supported me a lot. Opening my studio is the milestone for me.

What do you think the future of Islamic art looks like and how do you think we can continue to keep the tradition alive?

I think that traditional arts will become more and more popular. The art opens a space for people to take a breath and rest their souls. Instead of blindly advocating for one traditional or modern art, it is very important to understand the ground and dynamics on which the two rise.

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The views of the artists, authors and writers who contribute to Bayt Al Fann do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Bayt Al Fann, its owners, employees and affiliates.


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