Artist Profiles

Artist:

Mehmet Cetinkaya

Country:

Turkey

Organization:

Mehmet Cetinkaya Gallery

Media/General:

Textiles

Year(s) Attended:

Santa Fe: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2016, 2019

About:

Using a talent both intuitive and finely honed, master Turkish textile artist Mehmet Cetinkaya and his thriving team of artists live and work in the majestic, storied city of Istanbul. For thirty years, this creative powerhouse has been crafting woven artworks which incorporate both ancient and contemporary sensibilities.

Cetinkaya and his team make textiles with centuries-old origins, but thanks to the creative vision of his artists, eye-catchingly new, boldly original patterns nevertheless emerge. As a graduate of the Belgian Royal Academy, where he studied art and graphic design, Cetinkaya uses his considerable artistic talents to assemble and maintain this broad range of works. Despite his affinity for ancient patterns, colors, and design, the artist realized that his immediate community would benefit immensely by eliminating artificial, mass-produced dyes, and also by creating a market for the meticulously crafted embroidered goods synonymous with this region. For over a decade, he has been looking to his vastly talented neighbors: an ever-growing group of women who masterfully use natural dyes and materials for their vibrant textiles.

It might not be immediately apparent, but research plays a huge part of Cetinkaya’s creative prowess. Poring over designs that arch back for centuries, he explores the geographical terrains of Central Asia, Anatolia and the Caucasus for aesthetic inspiration. Informed by these ancient motifs, the collective’s artists make elegantly patterned and exquisitely colorful textiles suitable for the home–think cushions and elaborate wall hangings–as well as items for personal wear, like shawls and traditional silk hats. No matter the item, patterns used are traditional and range from geometric motifs to floral designs. Embroidery work is done using a circular wooden hoop, needles, scissors and thimbles, and each item is made from one artist, from start to finish.