Coming from a family intertwined with arts and crafts, Tuğçe Diri, following a colorful childhood in which she had seen the talents of her mother, grandmother, and aunts, chose painting as her career.
Stating her passion for patterns, Diri designs oil and acrylic paintings as well as different painting series by using tools that can replace lines such as rope or fabric.
She became a painter by the influence of her family
After graduating from Eskişehir Anadolu Fine Arts High School, Tuğçe Diri came to İstanbul and graduated from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Painting Department and Applied Lithography Workshop. Diri who continued working on her artworks in her workshop in Kadıköy, İstanbul said, “My family also had a great impact on my selection of painting… especially my mother, who is a very successful craftsman. Her talent was passed down to her from her mother. My aunts who are teachers also paint. In short, I grew up in a family that cares about labor. My cousin was accepted to Eskişehir Anadolu Fine Arts High School 2 years before I was. I became aware of the existence of such a department when I was in middle school. I took the exams and I passed. I wanted to study at Mimar Sinan University. Therefore, I came to İstanbul to prepare for exams. During the preparation process, I worked with Özlem Üner. She is an academic at the Painting Department of Mimar Sinan University. Within this aim, I got in Mimar Sinan. I completed my education within a certain discipline and different workshop environments. ‘The effect of traditional arts on contemporary Turkish painting’ was the subject of my master thesis.
She proceeds through organic forms
Tuğçe Diri, who set up her own studio as soon as she graduated from university, started to teach painting. Stating that the true discipline was developed by working alone, Diri said, “I am highly influenced by reading and listening to music. Your understanding of why you decide to read a book leads you to the production process by directing you to different sources…” Diri held her first solo exhibition in Anna Laudel Contemporary in 2016 with the theme of ‘Loop’ and the second with the theme of ‘Another World’ again in Anna Laudel Contemporary. She participated in various group exhibitions and her works were exhibited in various galleries and fairs including Akademililer Art Center, Contemporary İstanbul, Artist 2010 and Imoga Art Space. Diri, expressing that she prefers to express the subject using the peinture technique on a two-dimensional object from time to time, said, “The important thing for me is the process I experience when I am producing and the pleasure I am receiving at that moment. I like dealing with the aesthetic part, the crafting part. My last personal exhibition was ‘Another World’. It was about the connection between three different topics. First there were oil paintings or acrylic colored paintings on the canvas. I love working with organic forms.”
If thread replaces lines…
Tuğçe Diri, who states that she created a utopian world in the exhibition ‘Another World’, summarizes this process as follows: “The colorful works that take place in the exhibition are formed by some textures that are out of this world but may seem common to all of us. I have produced a series that reflects an organic world. I’m a complete pattern enthusiast. Therefore, in all my works, I draw patterns first. I express the first inspiration, first instant sharing through patterns. After this conveyance process, I color the patterns. In fact, many paintings are produced when you are making plastic questioning. That’s why I love working on the series. After color series, I started to abstract the color. Then my patterns started to create their own organic motifs. More organic, more genuine motifs, simple patterns began to come to the fore. During this time I started lacing. I wanted the thread to replace the line, and I combined my own patterns with the thread, representing the craft. I started lacing my already existing patterns with thread. Based on the anxiety on two dimensions, I used the canvas frame. I built hoops out of canvas frames and proceeded accordingly. This exhibition was a reflection of an artist’s transition from one process to another.”
She is working on a new series
Tuğçe Diri, who started working on a new series, said, “In this series, I started again with patterns and sub-sketches, but I will make a painting in this context. As a result of this work, there will be only one painting. Production mode is reproducing the series by experimenting until I am satisfied. I mainly use oil and acrylic on canvas and paper. My first reflex always stands out with the pattern. I like to think via the pattern. In my upcoming productions, I will turn to different materials which have a symbolic value for me and which can be used as a line like lace. I’m going to use some pieces of fabric in the next exhibition because I’m going to start creating patchwork paintings.” Diri, who starts each day with a long walk and begins to work in her studio after drinking her coffee, reaches her target audience mostly through her social media account. Expressing that she is appealing to an audience between the ages of 40 and 50, Diri said, “My target group is developing a link between my works and their own experiences. Everyone has lacework in their house. They come across to a familiar material when they see lace in an artwork. Another dream of mine about this subject is to realize a study like a ‘moment memory’ or a ‘moment archive’ that girls have established with their mothers and the past. My other priority is to start a PhD in a more theoretical field.”