Friday, March 12, 2010

rusts and ochre

I am fascinated by machinery— anything with dials, switches, red buttons and levers. So naturally, I fell in love with the Museum of Energy at santralistanbul. Santralistanbul was built on the site of the old Silahtarağa Power Plant— the Ottoman Empire's first power plant, which supplied electricity to Istanbul from 1911 to 1983. Reinforced and partly preserved, the museum is a haunting space of rusting machinery and contrasting new metal, wood and concrete.

Connected to the Museum of Energy is the very modern and geometric Main Gallery. While it certainly doesn't blend in with the old plant, somehow the use of raw, exposed metal and smooth concrete works harmoniously. The gallery space is enormous, full of light and minimal— perfect for displaying artwork— and what an exhibit I was about to see!

You'd better run if you want to catch the incredible Yüksel Arslan retrospective— it ends on the 21st of March. I wish I had gone to see these imaginative tea-toned drawings months ago, but better late than never. Over five hundred pieces are on display— which is undeniably impressive, and his expressive linework and gorgeously muted colour palette is drives me wild. A truly unique and inspiring Turkish artist, a great discovery for me.

I might need to use some tea and yellow ochre in my next drawings...

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