“I have never felt that I belonged to the East throughout my life. One day, when I started ceramics, I saw that all the images that overflowed out of me reflected the colours, forms and symbols of the land where I was born and raised, not the taste, philosophy and form of the western society I admired.
I was a prisoner of Ottoman tulips, carnations and willows, Kütahya green, tile red and especially Mediterranean turquoise… I was Byzantium, Istanbul and Anatolia from head to toe, it turns out!” ( Füreya Koral )
I visited the ceramic exhibition of Füreya Koral (1910-1997) at the Maçka Art Gallery on 3 October 2023 in Istanbul. I had the opportunity to follow the journey of the artist’s sensibility with full of discoveries step by step over time. The most important of these discoveries was revealed by Mrs. Füreya in her own words as above.
You will also be able to see a few ceramic sketches that I was able to photograph. The critical points in her life story are that her father was Mehmet Emin Koral, one of the leading commanders of our War of Independence, Atatürk’s visits to their house in Elmadağ, Istanbul, and the British occupation forces seized the house during the occupation of Istanbul and turned it into the mansion of the British commander.
Mrs. Füreya was initially influenced by western culture, then by the Mayan and Aztec cultures of South America and finally by the colourfulness of our own culture. Here, we can see the universal dimension of art from all aspects.
I am also grateful for the hospitality of Mrs Didem Çapa and the invitation of my friend Mr Salim Zaimoğlu.
Yes, ceramics is a universal branch of art that is extremely fertile in terms of expressing the colours and people encountered by Turks travelling tens of thousands of kilometres around the world. It also overlaps with us Turks.
We also hope that ceramic art applications, which were once encountered at the entrances of buildings, will be resumed.