Hometown: Akşehir-Konya- Turkey
Current town: Istanbul- Turkey
Job description: Owner at Maden Contemporary Jewellery Studio
Bio: Selen Özus was born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1983.
She got her BFA in Ceramic and Glass Design in Mimar Sinan Fine Art University, Istanbul, Turkey in 2004. In 2010 she completed a three year Jewellery Program in Alchimia Contemporary Jewellery School, Florence, Italy. She took classes from Peter Bauhuis, Manfred Bischoff and Ruudt Peters during her education in Alchimia.
Attended various exhibitions in Europe and Istanbul, Selen Özus is currently living in Istanbul and and working as an instructor at Maden Contemporary Jewellery Studio which is founded by herself with her colleague Burcu Büyükünal.
Describe your work. What materials do you work with?
My works are my memories. They are little sculptures that carry poetic and ironic stories. I share my memories with people when my pieces are worn. Then every piece starts having new memories. This is why I make jewelry.
I usually convey my experiences through my illustrations first. It works like a therapy for me. I develop my jewelry by carrying my illustrations to the materials I like, especially silver, iron, and porcelain. I use silver like a canvas, pure and white, I fire and texture it to express a drawing quality. I also enjoy joining the darkness and heaviness of the iron with the fragile but robust nature of porcelain.
When I am working I dive into a wonderful world full of surprises. I feel safe in the loneliness of my process and express my feelings out loud.
What are you currently working on?
Currently i work with iron and by doing so i throw away the darkness and a certain layer recently penetrated into my self. During this process i think of how each of our organs have a different character and by using different materials such as texture, yarn, sponge and silver i make experimental studies.
What’s your art background / when did you begin really focusing on art?
My mother was a painting teacher and my father was an amateur photographer. So i was raised in an artistic environment. During the high school years I’ve started to make illustrations and to discover my own style. The jewellery education that i took after the ceramic education gave me a chance to improve my self.
What’s been happening in your life/ what’s next for you?
We’ve been giving courses of modern jewellery with my colleague Burcu Büyükünal at Maden Contemporary Jewellery Studio that we’ve founded in İstanbul. Together with teaching i continue to create my own works of art.
The events of the recent six months in my personal life led me to investigate and recognize my self more and more. This is a period of time where i realize more clearly what does it mean to be a woman, the roles of a woman in a relationship, the influnce of my country on my self. I can not foresee where these thoughts are taking me to; but i want to make bolder works and to reach to an internal satisfaction.
Describe your current state of mind / what’s inspiring you?
I am gliding on emotional air and trying to understand my feelings such as anger, love, and sorrow. I am also inspired by human body and the conditions it is involved like simple daily life and intricate relationships to other people.
What is one of the biggest challenges you face as an artist?
Earning money and being understood.
How has the meaning of your work changed over time?
My works depend on and change regarding to the events of my life. I can not speak in a specific way.
What are you listening to these days?
I am listening lately Saul Williams – Fearless , Blueboy – Remember Me, Chinawoman – Lovers are Strangers, Jun Miyake – The Here and After . Also you can see on my playlist, Roisin Murphy, Massive Attack, Bach, Chopin, Tom Waits, Lhasa…
What are a few of your favorite spots in your area?
My favorite places in İstanbul are the ferries. I take the ferry twice a day. Passing to Asia from Europe, seeing the sea… Sometimes my thoughts prevent me from realizing the view by the window; but i like the feeling that this view brings me when i realize it.
Favorite artists and why/ people in your field whom you most admire:
Egon Schiele, Marina Abramovic, Louise Bourgeois, Manfred Bischoff… They affect me because all of them have an ironic expression and touch me in a certain way.
I do not read for a long time. I can not focus. Nowadays reading poems give me more satisfaction. They are short and deep. I don’t feel the need for more: Orhan veli, Cemal Süreyya, Emily Dickinson.