Friday, February 13, 2015


In her exhibition called “Touch My Soul” Zuhal Baysar mentions about the existential conditions of the human soul.  In her paintings there are only body and water. The artist uses the water as a metaphor of the universe which is a place that human being created only for his/herself. Although the water seems to be outside of the body it reflects the depth of the soul. The soul is painted indirectly under the pictorial plastic the water provides. The important things are the features and the inner world of the human being.  For the artist the body is a tool to visualize the conditions of the existence.

We can make a connection between the artist’s life perception and Martin Heidegger’s philosophy. According to Heidegger the human being is just left on earth. By being left to the existence actually human is enforcedly left to the freedom of building up one’s own being. But first of all, being left is the absence of freedom itself – as if the inevitability of the death itself. It is not the result of a choice.  And in the situation of being left the human being establishes his/her own life by choice. In here a forced experience of freedom is in question. The human being has to make choices in order to realise his/her own existence. This means it is imperative for the human being to realise his/her freedom.  It is possible to say that Heidegger’s philosophy can be seen in a plastic form in Zuhal Baysar’s paintings.

The universe that is the place to realize the freedom in these paintings is the return to a temple within the inner world of the artist where one takes shelter in from time to time and feels peaceful. Human being, with his/her weightless existence purified of the outer world and entirely covered with water, is the subject of some sort of purification ritual here. Sometimes this universe is a battle field. In this universe there is everything that makes one human. On the one hand there are fears, greed, guilt, insecurity, and insufficiency; on the other hand, there is love and compassion one feels for the beings that add meaning to life, and the inconceivable power and resistance for self-protection and self-defense against the threat of extinction. These two opposite poles comprise the essence of the universe that man hides from the outer world. ‘Being inside’ is being in the water. The life giving, embodying and cleansing water is a universe of silence that swathes and illuminates in these paintings. The depth of this universe is measured by one’s loneliness that becomes deeper and more silent to the extent he/she lets it be.

Under any circumstance, human being that carries his/her own private area into “water” becomes free of the behavioral patterns of ordinary life; he/she is free in water.

The body is sometimes suspended in the air, sometimes under the rule of water, and sometimes rules the water. However it reflects the existence of a powerful soul.

Emotional states emerging through the shaping of human soul by concepts such as order-chaos, existence-absence and eternity become visualized by an intense emotional expression reflected by the “body” and “water”.

The artist integrates the plastic of the paint masterfully with the meaning and expression in the painting along with the concern to create enriched atmospheres within water. Ripples of water take place on the surface of the painting as abstract forms as well as existing as a means of expression of the emotional atmosphere within the water at the same time. As an artist who emphasizes the aspect of the paint that interferes with the meaning, Zuhal Baysar argues that modern patterns can be caught with the plastic of the painting and the paint contributes to these patterns as well as diversifying the meaning.

In her own painting adventure, the artist invites the audience to “touch” various emotional states of her inner world.

Serap Emmungil

Ocak 2015

Türkçeden Çeviren: Havva Altun

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