Creating ToTeM

The creative process of each work of art is a distinct adventure. What makes it distinct is the artist’s attitude to research, concept, design, sketching and implementation. This attitude is determined by the artist’s frame of mind, world view, and sense of art and style. What makes each work of art unique is the subjective and original manner of the artist. This adventure is experienced by the artist themselves, however, in my opinion, it would be conceptually and technically beneficial to share such experiences within the field of art. Hence, in this paper, I would like to share my experiences in the conceptualization, design and implementation phases my work titled ToTeM.

The concept first emerged in June 2008, while I was listening to the presentation of ceramic artist, Emre Feyzioglu, during the Sixth International Avanos Applied Ceramics Symposium and Salt Firing Workshop, where I was an invited artist.

I had long been planning to represent the destruction of freedom and the self-incarceration of humanity by its own material and spiritual creations by incarcerating a human being in a cage or a capsule.

After I had drawn the sketch, and before the phase of implementation, I was horrified by the shocking news of an honour killing – a woman had been brutally murdered by her family.
This made me change my mind about ToTeM: it should not be about the self-incarceration of humanity in general, but the intellectual and behavioural incarceration of women inside male sexuality by a dominant and paternalistic culture.

In John Berger’s words, “To be born a woman is to be born within an allotted and confined space, into the keeping of men.”