Art Talk: Ayşe Hilal Ateş & Nergis Abıyeva

Bilsart hosts Ayşe Hilal Ateş’s solo exhibition entitled ‘’Per se’’ curated by Nergis Abıyeva between December 16 – 30, 2020.

‘’Per se’’ is a an archival work regarding the relationship between a family and olive trees. Ateş focuses on Zeki, who has been doing olive cultivation in the olive grove which inherited from his father for almost forty years against all its difficulties and troubles. Spending her summers in Küçükkuyu since her childhood, Ateş knows the family personally. Over the years, the artist’s view of the family gets richer and overlaps her practice.

Olive has various meanings in different cultures, beliefs and mythologies; symbol of prosperity, abundance, peace, immortality and wisdom. The exhibiton is named after delice that grows naturally around the Aegean as a wild olive tree. Delice that turns into an olive tree when grafted, is being grafted and transformed by Zeki, like a healer. This action, which is an artisanal approach to olive cultivation, demonstrates not consuming but producing, improving and transforming and overlaps Ateş’s art practice. The project reveals the discourse on the naive and personal sides of the resistance, emphasizes of personal exists for a sustainable world.

In this project, the artist made a video interview with Zeki in the olive grove at Küçükkuyu. The conversation, which proceeded with questions that contained the reflection of Ateş’s relationship with the soil, nature and non-human creatures, evolved into a video work in which Zeki’s great love and compassion for olive trees were revealed. The video work is accompanied by a selection of photographs that Ateş took the olive grove with its environment. Ateş’s watercolor works also took their place in the exhibition as abstract reflections of how the olive grove and delice trees have affected the artist’s imagination for years. Lastly, it comes up as a booklet which the artist selected from the narratives about olive trees that she researched and read throughout the production process.

‘’Per se’’ in search for a sustainable world, aims to produce new ways of thinking on various forms of creation, production and transformation by focusing on the relationship between the human beings and non-human creatures.

Ayşe Hilal Ateş is an artist who keeps memory of the occurrences and events that she witnessed. She produces her works with the belief that nothing that has happened on earth and in the universe at any given time will not be destroyed and gone. The effort to resist decay, oblivion and extinction is the essential features in her practice. She reminds us that personal resistances are just as important as social and great resistances, making these resistances and actions visible and contributing to the continuation of their physical or spiritual lives.


Ayşe Hilal Ateş (Istanbul, 1995), graduated from Marmara University Faculty of Fine Arts and received her bachelor’s and master’s degree in painting department.

She produces her works with the belief that nothing ever happened on earth and in the universe at any given time will not cease to exist, and with an effort resisting decay, oblivion and extinction. Researching is at the center of her artistic practice, however, she does not seek to discover anything new in her works. Ateş who employs a variety of media including video, installation, photography, painting etc. and aims to understand and reflect what is now and exists.