Lonely Silhouettes Just Like a Shadow: Nur Ernehir

Nur Ernehir’s works convey shadow, silhouette, and contrast in a minimalist and surrealist setting. Her visual narratives, generally from a feminine eye, are based on social issues such as values attributed to women, gender inequality, and freedom.

We had a very pleasant interview with the artist, where we delved into the depths of art production. She graduated from Akdeniz University Fine Arts Faculty Graphics Department as a valedictorian and she completed her master’s degree in the Graphics Department of the same university after receiving a Pedagogical Formation education at Dokuz Eylul University.

You posses a feminine perspective that you apply in your works to criticize the social values attributed to women. Could you explain a little bit about the relationship between the metaphors you include in your works and the subjects you deal with for Art50.net followers? Just like a shadow, the presence of the woman, who is depicted predominantly in black and white as a lonely silhouette, indicates which social situations?

In some of my narratives, I use different symbolic elements that exist in many philosophies or cultures rather than a single source, but I also use symbols that I deem appropriate or that I assign myself. Turtles, pigeons, curtains, tulle, butterflies, and artificial flowers are some of them. These metaphors I deal with are strongly related to the place of women in society, destiny, communicative problems, education, gender inequality, and social issues such as freedom, which I try to convey through women in general. At this point, I describe the woman who has been consciously marginalized and devalued for thousands of years as a silhouette that has not yet regained its colors and details. However, my expectation is to color and elaborate my work with these problems that I believe will be solved in time.

Nur Ernehir – The Chrysalis 2

A common female figure is heavily at the forefront of your works. This figure, which is sometimes a silhouette, draws attention with its similarity to you in some of your works. Is this figure a representation of you and your experiences as an artist, or is it a character that refers to femininity in general?

My work in this style, which I call silhouettes, is actually a project that I plan to pursue for the rest of my life. We carry the different responsibilities and burdens of being a woman through all ages. Even though we have different languages, religions, races, and traditions, unfortunately, the behaviors we are exposed to often meet on a common denominator. At this point, I feel the need to convey, in a symbolic way, the common denominator along with the events that I encounter from time to time. The biggest factor that I want to convey through only one figure is to be able to refer universally to the feminine situation and social problems that existed in her period as she gets older, from a single window. I can say that we will witness the evolution of this representative female figure that has existed throughout this whole process, both physically, mentally and emotionally, so I can say that I aim for it to be a long-term project.

With the timeless and placeless fictions you create, you invite the audience to a universe that is simple but full of symbols. How did your process of creating a poetic and surreal world take shape while displaying a visually reductionist attitude in your works? How did the influence of minimalism develop in your artistic practice?

One of my favorite points of Visual Arts is that you have the power to convey hundreds of words and sentences with a single work. At this point, my preferred path is to create as much as possible from few. I think that the graphic education I received had a great share in creating this mentality. In addition, Leonardo da Vinci, whose work I greatly admire, said, “Simplicity is the highest level of sophistication.” I can say that his sentence and philosophy made me focus more on this subject.

Your works contain details close to the characteristics of the art of manipulation. How do you interpret the effects of your digital skills and competencies in different disciplines, which are closely related to your education in Graphic Design, on your expressive power?

Although my undergraduate and graduate education is on Graphic Art, I had the opportunity to gain experience on many different disciplines through elective courses. And these experiences, from their production techniques to their philosophies, can get blended from time to time and have an impact on my work. However, I can underline that every time – even the works that I produce in 2 or 3 dimensions – are subjected to some sort of digital processing. In this context, I think that, with the inexhaustible materials in Digital Art, having the chance to correct mistakes again and again without leaving a trace, the practicality of the production process liberate an artist and enable her to focus more intensely on expression.

Nur Ernehir – The Birth of Life

We know that you have participated in many group exhibitions and competitions at home and abroad and won valuable prizes. How has this process contributed to you and your artistic development as an artist? What do you think about the importance of art competitions and award-winning exhibitions, especially for young artists?

International competitions and exhibitions are a useful tool to see your place on a universal basis. The way you can look at yourself from the perspectives of well-equipped jury members who have grown up in different cultures at one point. On the other hand, examining the works of the competitors who have chosen the same path as you, rather than the ambition to win, and perhaps comparing them with your own works can provide different perspectives. For this reason, I believe that it is necessary to participate in competitions and exhibitions in order to create an internal motivation.

Artists and designers we followed on platforms such as Behance and DevianArt in the past released their works as NFT. What do you think will be the impact of NFT on art production? Do you have plans to turn your business into NFT and produce NFT?

When we look at the starting point of Digital Art, we encounter a very close date. And right now, the point of these works, which are produced by computers or various technological devices that we can easily adapt to, is in an unshakenly strong position. It is possible for NFT to experience such a process as well. Although I look at this situation positively, I am still waiting to observe its development a little more. Therefore, for now, it is not possible for me to say anything about its impact on art production. However, I can state that I aim to make a breakthrough with different projects when the adaptation process is completed.

As a designer working on web design and digital identity at the same time, what do you think about your works meeting art lovers through Art50.net’s user-friendly interface and reliable infrastructure? What should be the essential features of online art platforms?

One of the most valuable features of the developing technology is that it carries art to a universal dimension via accessibility. Being able to look at the works of artists who exist in the world on a single screen, whenever you want, to be able to examine and receive the smallest detail… In this sense, it is an undeniable fact that such online art platforms, including Art50.net, are valuable for both artists and art lovers. Although there is the possibility of changing shape with the changing technology over time from the current point, I guess that they will gain an upward momentum. For its indispensable features -as a user at the same time- I can say that it is simple, useful and understandable.


You can find Nur Ernehir’s works on Art50.net here.

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