Melis Buyruk: Habitat

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Leila Heller Gallery presents Melis Buyruk’s debut in the UAE, with the solo show “Habitat”. The exhibition showcases nine porcelain works by Buyruk, where a ceramic topography of intricate flora and fauna are encased in wooden boxes, and granted their own habitat. In a mastery of porcelain, the traditionally feminized and overlooked art form associated with domestic life is reinterpreted as a medium that points to bio-futurist tensions.

Melis Buyruk
Habitat The Bird, 2019
Porcelain
120 cm x 145 cm
$28,000

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Melis Buyruk
Habitat The Tarantula, 2019
Porcelain
120 cm x 145 cm
$28,000

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Melis Buyruk
Habitat The Bearded Dragon, 2019
Porcelain and 18k Gold
120 cm x 145 cm
$28,000

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Marking Buyruk’s first exhibition in the broader MENA region, “Habitat” presents the first viewing of the Turkish artist’s large-scale works, which comes as a response to Leila Heller Gallery’s Dubai exhibition space. Allowing for the deeper immersion into Buyruk’s intricate and delicate porcelain world, the larger works creates for a more commanding visual confrontation with Buyruk’s hybrid flower forms.

Melis Buyruk
Habitat The Rat 2, 2019
Porcelain
50 cm x 50 cm
$12,000

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Buyruk identifies and subtly blends patterns of vegetation and the natural world, creating porcelain flower fields. They are disorienting, as they evoke both artificiality and illusion in a play on logic. While strikingly realistic and incredibly meticulous, the porcelain flowers are unfeasibly monochrome, hybrid, and eerily level, suggesting an alien environment. Lit up, and enclosed in a box, the work is further imbued with notions of the fantastical. Fluctuating between boundaries of reality and surreality, the show reminds the viewer of our fractured and disjointed relationship with nature, and provokes a double consciousness.

Melis Buyruk
Habitat The Snake, 2019
Porcelain and 18k Gold
125 cm x 125 cm
$28,000

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Melis Buyruk
Habitat The Snake 2, 2019
Porcelain and 18k Gold
125 cm x 125 cm
$28,000

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Drawn to the poetic fragility of porcelain, and the physical engagement it required, Buyruk became a specialist in the craft at the Faculty of Fine Arts at Selcuk University. Buyruk’s reintroduction of the material in contemporary context, recognizing and manipulating its ability to uncannily mimic organic forms, saw the artist be exhibited across Turkey

Melis Buyruk
Habitat The Rat, 2019
Porcelain
120 cm x 145 cm
$28,000

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Quarantine Thoughts by Melis Buyruk

Today is the 33rd day of my self-imposed quarantine. I haven't left the house in 33 days, except for the occasional grocery run, and daily dog walks. As of yet, Turkey has not implemented a curfew, but the government has issued guidelines for essential workers - those who are obliged to work, such as workers in healthcare, service and production. I am of the lucky few who can stay at home, and yet continue to work. About 6 months ago, I brought my studio into my home, moving it to the ground floor, which is in a very residential and quiet part of Istanbul. It makes my studio very silent, allowing me to be more mindful and productive  Every morning, before I start working in my studio, I have my cup of coffee while listening to the pianist Yiruma at my little garden. The quarantine reinforces my regular routine, allowing me to continue working on a series of new projects for my upcoming exhibition at Leila Heller Gallery.

I think the pandemic, having impacted the entire world, has allowed us to listen to ourselves. Before our global shutdown, “I don’t have the time” would be all-too-common phrase, and we would not allow ourselves to engage in activities or things that didn’t have an immediate sense of value. And now everything has stopped, all of a sudden. No longer do we try to not miss out on anything.There is nothing to “catch up” with.

Regardless of who one may be, we are all helplessly prone to this virus. We are undergoing this crisis collectively, where our interdependency is more transparent than ever. This has led me to begin thinking about once-utopian words and concepts such as “humanity” that draw on the universality of this issue. So, I’m not too pessimistic. I believe that empathy and our understanding of social responsibility will be the biggest factor in achieving a worldwide recovery. There will indeed be radical changes in our lives, both good and bad, but we will adapt, and continue.

Melis Buyruk
Habitat The Pig, 2019
Porcelain
50 cm x 50 cm
$12,000

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Melis Buyruk
Habitat The Hawk, 2019
Porcelain
120 cm x 120 cm
$28,000

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Melis Buyruk is a Turkish artist born in Golcuk in 1984. Her large-scale floral ceramic sculptures depart from contained, categorical forms of pottery, and celebrates the traditionally feminized discipline. Buyruk graduated from the Ceramic Department of the Faculty of Fine Arts at Selcuk University in 2007, and has exhibited across Turkey.

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