Selma Gürbüz (@gurbuz_selma), born in Istanbul in 1960, started her art education at the Exeter College of Art Design in England in 1980. The artist later graduated from the Painting programme of the Faculty of Fine Arts at the Marmara University. Gürbüz’s works, which have been exhibited in many different countries such as Paris, Rome, Buenos Aires, Barcelona and various cities in Japan, are now being displayed in multiple collections such as the British Museum in London, Galerie Maeght Collection in Paris, Istanbul Modern, and Ankara Painting and Sculpture Museum.
By courtesy of Selma Gürbüz Foundation of Art and Education
Woman Crying Tears of Pearl, 2020. Soft sculpture, 52.5 cm x 33 cm.
Beard Woman, 2020. Soft sculpture, 55 x 42 cm.
Maasai Woman, 2020. Soft sculpture,185 x 36 cm.
Woman with Hair in a Bun, 2020. Soft sculpture, 42.5 cm x 34 cm.
Girl with Ribbons, 2020. Soft sculpture, 110 cm x 32 cm.
Woman with Four Gazes, 2020. Soft sculpture, 60 cm x 33 cm.
The presentation is a shrine to the loving memory of Selma Gürbüz whose friendship continues to nurture us. The series of masks portray women who, according to the artist, shared
a special interest in, and longing for nature, and whose beliefs in freedom were essential to them. The mask denotes an empowering tool of animation, communion, disguise and seduction, reserving a prominent place in the feminist arsenal. Its gift of anonymity can be wondrously liberating, connoting for some the only means for entering their true selves. In the context of theatre and rituals, the mask also symbolises ‘ékstasis’ allowing one to step out of the self, however temporarily, and put on selves that are others. Hair is another powerful medium appropriated by the artist. She especially marvelled at the way African women braided and arranged their hair in different styles. Hair has interested her since she was a child and she used it liberally as a material in her practice. In the present body of work, hair and eyelashes are used to individualise the masks.