Three Years On A Canvas


Şeyda Cesur is going to make it into the Guinness Book of Records for the largest painting ever made by a single person.
Let us hear the story of her 120-meter-long painting straight from the horse’s mouth.

Where did the idea for 120 meters come from? How did it all start?
It came about through the notion that an artist must renew herself from time to time. I wanted to create in my studio a work that I could open up in 4 m x 4 m sections in my 50-square-meter living room. I wanted there to be continuity and at the same time I wanted it to be a work in which I renewed myself. What would I encounter during that journey? What sort of details would I get caught up in? How much could I grow in terms of color, texture and composition? When I thought of all that I wanted a very large space.

How are you thinking of showing it?
First it has to stand up. To do that, it needs a frame. Perhaps it could be a maze. Or maybe a spiral. Something you can enter into and walk through. What sort of plain, flat space could it be? In a museum maybe, or a warehouse. There are so many details. It could be an even bigger area, an airport maybe. A whole slew of things come to mind. Since there are so many details, I would like it to be in close contact with people interactively. I want it to get close to a lot people because it reflects all the feelings they experience.

Have you applied to exhibit it abroad?
I want to apply to the Ministry of Culture because I’d like them to be aware of the largest work ever done in Turkey. Or we could start a new category in the big auction houses like Sotheby’s or Christie’s. Going abroad opens up many possibilities.

Is there a city in which you would especially like to hold a show?
There’s a serenity in Madrid that attracts me. New York of course is every artist’s dream. Maybe we’ll go there with the 120 meters. I don’t know.

A graduate of the Marmara University School of Fine Arts, Cesur held her first show in the ‘Geleceğe Esintiler’ (Blasts Into the Future) series, organized in support of young artists by Sabancı University’s Kasa Gallery, the first in Turkey to implement the jury system. The exhibition was at the same time the artist’s first solo show. What’s more, she succeeded in holding the show by convincing a jury of names like Gülsün Karamustafa, Hüsamettin Koçan and Bülent Erkmen.