I am an artist, designer and educator; a Turkish-Levantine now residing in the Boston area. In my work I draw upon contemporary social issues by making connections with personal narratives, history, and popular culture. I am inspired by social phenomena and constantly try to position myself in relationship to a public or a sub-culture. In my studio practice I freely combine research methodologies and artistic strategies borrowed from various disciplines such as photography, documentary, performance, storytelling, installation, graphic design, and social interventions.
With my partner and husband Mike Mandel, I actively interract with the media as part of the work. In 1998 with a picture we staged in Ankara, Turkey, during an Islamist protest, in 2011 an election campaign in our hometown of Watertown MA, and more recently in 2014 a shopify site commemorative plates for the Boston Marathon bombing manhunt. As I approach my work from a conceptual frame, the form is wide ranging; from ceramic plates (Shelter in Plates), to oil paintings produced in China (7 Turkish Artists), resin cast sculptures and news media ads. Often the project culminates in an artist’s publication. Educated as a designer I’ve used the computer since the mid-80s and was actively participating in the digital revolution that came through image manipulation software, desktop publishing, internet communication and web publishing. The book format allows me to develop an idea in much greater detail and create dialogues outside art establishments where it can reach a wider audience. Text and language is an inherent part of my work; interviews, personal narrative, found text, contextualizes the imagery.
As Eighteen Publications, Mike and I have self-published several artist's books: The Turk & The Jew (1997), webAffairs (2005), Taxi Rides (2009), The State of Ata (2010), They Came to Baghdad (2012), and most recently Lockdown Archive (2015). My work is represented in: Yale University Art of the Book Collection, Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Getty Research Institute Library, The Kinsey Institute Library, Institute of Network Cultures in Amsterdam and the Addison Gallery of American Art. I've had solo shows in Boston, Baltimore, Atlanta, Los Angeles as well as Izmir and Ankara, Turkey. I have been invited to speak nationally and internationally in Canada, the Netherlands, U.K. and Turkey.
Currently I am a full time faculty member at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston where I chair the Graphic Arts area. I was an associate member of the Goat Island performance group from 1995 until 2009 and have interpreted their work into print material. I have served as a board member of Belmont World Film. I also practice as a graphic designer developing identity packages and collateral material for non-profit organizations.