Stunning sculptures dominate the Bodrum waterfront this summer

Installed above the lush gardens and rugged coastline surrounding Maçakizi, a charming hillside hotel overlooking Türkbükü Bay on the northern edge of the Bodrum Peninsula, Between Humankind and Nature features paintings, sculptures, design and site-specific installations by famous artists contemporary artists exploring our relationship with nature and the world around us.

“After the pandemic, I felt more strongly the importance of our relationship with nature and wanted to explore it further with an exhibition presented in dialogue with the distinctive landscape of the Aegean Riviera,” says Demet Muftuoglu-Eseli, exhibition curator and co- Founder of the art platform Istanbul’74. “I wanted to bring together artists from different backgrounds and disciplines, as each creative practice adds a new perspective on the subject.”

Running through September 10, 2022, Between Humankind and Nature will showcase existing works alongside new pieces created in collaboration with local studios and artisans.

Cristian Mohaded, Waving Towers2022. Handwoven rattan on steel pole with concrete base. Photography: Courtesy of Istanbul’74

“The merging and clashing of perspectives between artists and craftsmen creates a unique synergy that results in something truly unique,” ​​continues Muftuoglu-Eseli. “The exhibition offers visitors the opportunity to see the depth and breadth of each artist’s practice in a new light.”

Take the five by Cristián Mohaded Waving Towers (2022), produced during the exhibition’s artist residency program in collaboration with local weavers who play a large role on the coast. Crafted from handwoven rattan using local weaving techniques, they gently sway and whistle in the Meltemi wind. Their natural colors and organic shapes blend in with the surrounding vegetation and the rocks on which they sit.

“We used a more elastic material than I would normally use, which allowed us to experiment with new waveforms,” ​​says the Argentine artist and designer, who made a name for himself by fusing tradition, craftsmanship and technique with modern innovation and design . “It was a truly collaborative process that started with sharing know-how and ideas.”

Steve Messam, web, 2022. Variable dimensions. Ripstop polyester, fan. Photography: Courtesy of Istanbul’74

Equally noticeable web (2022), a new site-specific installation by British artist Steve Messam. Installed in the rocky shallows between the mainland and Maçakizi’s covered wooden deck, it consists of a series of dusky pink inflatables that are unmissable from the bar and the bay beyond. Some get squeezed into crevices while others sway in the waves and wind.

“I hope visitors will see how they move and transform this stretch of water,” says Messam, best known for his ephemeral, site-specific works that disrupt the landscape. “If people slow down, ask questions and look at the room in new ways, even for a moment, then I’ve done my job.”

The inflatables, which are made in collaboration with a tailor in Bodrum, are made from lightweight polyester with a waterproof coating – a first for Messam, who normally works with ripstop nylon. “If you look closely, you’ll see the waves and imperfections in the fabric,” he says. “In contrast to my other works web has a soft, material quality. And I like it.’

And then there’s web‘s unusual pastel pink coloring. “Ripstop nylons usually come in primary or saturated colors, and I wanted Jetty to speak the language of the landscape,” he explains. “The Aegean hills are dusty in colour, the sea is turquoise green and the sky is very pale blue. It was important to me to work with this natural palette and to respect the light and the view.”

mike mountain, Tower. Photography: Courtesy of Istanbul’74

Hike up the pine-clad hill and you’ll find works by Carlito Dalceggio, Belkis Balpinar, and Mike Berg, among others, nestled happily among magnolias, oleanders, and bougainvillea. Mehmet Ali Uysal’s is enthroned by the pool as if about to set sail paper boats (2022), conceived for this exhibition in collaboration with a local metal workshop.

Fabric sculptures by Rachel Hayes lady Train meanwhile swayed in the wind. Erected over one of Maçakizi’s many outdoor terraces, the multicolored installation looks different from one gust of wind to the next, so prepare to stop, stare, and reconnect with your surroundings.

rachel hayes, lady2022. Polyester, Nylon. Photography: Courtesy of Istanbul’74

Also part of the exhibition are two art mirrors and three rotary tables by Sabine Marcelis. Crafted from local stone and made in collaboration with a studio in Izmir, the tables are divided in two: the top block rotates off-axis, creating a new composition with each rotation.

“I like to work with simple geometric shapes to emphasize the properties of the material,” says the Dutch artist and designer as he moves the top block of one of the tables inwards Splits (2022). “As the slabs separate, you can see the hues of the pink travertine returning into the veins of the blue stone.”

Above: Sabine Marcelis, Splits, 2022, seat, marble. Above: Shown behind Splits is Offround Mirror Hue 3Pink, 2022, Created in collaboration with Dutch designer Brit van Nerves. Photography: Courtesy of Istanbul’74

Bodrum’s blazing sun, it turns out, also affects the viewing experience. When the sun rises Offround Mirror Hue 3/Pink (2022) installed behind it Splits, it reflects a pink color on the surface of the tables; When it hits the protruding corners of the tables, it casts shadows on the floor.

“I wanted to create something that is static in its presence but very dynamic once activated,” she continues. “I love that you have this ever-changing experience as the piece interacts with natural light.”

For Marcelis, one of the joys and challenges of working with natural stone – as opposed to her signature cast resin, mirror and layered glass – is the unpredictability of the material. “Each record has its own veins and drawings to work around,” she says. “It was a unique collaboration with nature and good practice in letting go of control.” §

Mehmet Ali Uysal, paper boats2022, metal. Photography: Courtesy of Istanbul’74

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