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Autor: Betül Burnaz

As abstract painting developed at the heart of Islamic society, it also brought a special and unique status to the Muslim artist inside the civilization in which he lived. Due to Islam’s cautious approach to figurative painting, the Muslim artist became a pioneer of abstract painting by discovering a whole new dimension, and ’langauge’ of art by not painting figures. Non-figurative and symbolic motifs were developed and came to life, which required meticulous hand craftmanship, and conveyed more directly the emotions of the artist.

(c) Betül BurnazThe artisan developed a new sense of aesthetic on the account of a magnificent susceptibility by excluding from his depictions any images that have descriptive volume, are surrounded by an illusion of 3-dimensional space, or forms that are lit or shadowed. Emphasis was placed on use of clear, graphic line and colour, rather than an attempt to mimic nature.

Artists and artisans contributed to the contemplation of meaning of life by inventing perfectionist aesthetic rules to search for the perfect in visual art. In this sense, an Islamic artist is not an observer, but sees himself/herself as a participant who aims to bring beauty into life. During his quest for perfection, the Islamic artist left an impression in history not by adding his signature, but by developing a unique style that could be recognised, though he himself remained semi-anonymous and left his work unsigned. In his pieces he did not endeavour to ‘create out of nothing’, but to contribute devotedly to a developing tradition. He tried to remain humble before Zat-ı Bâriye, who is the true creator and owner of the art, as well as the inventor of all the beautiful actions and things. The Islamic artist preferred to be seen as an escort or vessel for the inspirations and reflections of God, who is the creator of all goodness and godliness. The Artist is just a passenger, delivering his best efforts to God who is the ultimate owner of all wonderful things, – including the artist’s work.

(c) Betül BurnazI struggled to reveal my own view of art which I believe, like all art, lacks the possibility of being set apart in it’s uniqueness. In my view, no matter how unique it may seem art only makes sense as part of the whole creative world, which ultimately belongs to God. This non-egotistical perspective is at a vast variance to mainstream arts philosophy and thought. I desired to express a perfection that can only be God, HE who can be everywhere and in every shape; and HE who also can be written, drawn and talked about through a representation. In my discretion, I strive to present an idea about how the exceptions and the rules are mutually complementary concepts. I should stress, however, that in my own unconventional calligraphic designs the line is evaluated as a possibility (not always a certainty). I treasure the wording of God being written in traditional Islamic calligraphy with classic style and according to specific rules. But in my work, the meaning of the line and symbols is often less specific and is open to interpretation. With this belief, I made an effort to reinterpret the wording of God at times as fluid and at times with more solid geometric forms, – thereby forming or un-forming images. Whilst doing this I used backgrounds intensively in a desire to reflect sometimes a surface or space; sometimes a wall, sometimes flames and sometimes a feeling of quietness. Spots and lines with extremely simplified views (in the supremacist manner) found their places on the texture as the confident, clear windows that are open to the infinite loops of the differences and to the areas that are less clear.

As a form of contemplation, every state of being we strive for could be seen as a play between God the Perfect, and us the non-perfect. Thus I witnessed, and participated in this comprehension-game, – in my own way. By giving voice to the lines, I was in search of a way to state my own testimonial to the Creator, who favoured us above all other creatures. Just a piece of hope…..A prayer


About the artist
Betül Burnaz was born on the 13th of June, 1978 in Istanbul. She graduated in political science at the Vienna University. Since 1995 Burnaz has been involved with several different fields of arts-related work, including art-education projects, painting in oils and acrylics, drawing, and calligraphy. There she participated in several arts projects and solo exhibitions, at venues such as the Vienna Technical University and Gallery 29, in Amerlinghaus. She also took part in various group exhibitions. Her first exhibition was inaugurated by the Wonder-Association.Pieces of her work have been bought by Private Collections both at home and abroad.

Currently she continues to live and work in Vienna. From 2000 to 2001 she lived in Damascus. From 2001 onwards, she lived in Vienna. She is married and is the mother of two children.

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