Category Archives: Portraits

Where is Narcissus?

Spending school holidays in my grandparent’s country house meant that each time there would be a different product waiting to be sold, occupying one of the rooms.  The excitement of seeing what was stacked up was almost more exciting than seeing family.

One of these products was the narcissus flower.  Opening the room and being hit by the intense, almost toxic smell was as impressive as the mountain formed by the flowers.

The region was well known to grow the flower and furthermore, the small creek that was walking distance from the house was said to be the same body of water that Narcissus saw his own reflection and feel in love, the same body of water in which he drowned.

His story has always interested me, as I could never imagine liking myself enough that I would fall in love.  Negative feelings about self-image is much more prevalent for the general population and myself.

In this series I wanted to show bodies that were altered by their own reflections to represent the fluctuations within our own self-image.  It is our thoughts, our own reflections that cause distortion.



Doll House

Often the lives in dollhouses were more magnificent than the homes of wealthy Victorians.  The currency of wealth was symbolised by the glory of the dollhouses contained in a household. This is the reason why several dollhouses exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green was the backdrop for the fashion editorial I shot for my Digital Manipulation Unit as part of my Diploma in Kensington and Chelsea College.

Several rooms of many dollhouses were photographed, a task that proved to be tricky as they were all behind glass and very low lit.  To match the glory of the featured rooms, current couture clothing advertised in fashion magazines were scanned to later be digitally worn by my model Indre Marc.

Each photograph is a composite of at least 3 images- 2 photographed by me and 1 scanned from magazines.  Whilst doing this was good to teach me more editing techniques, ethically I would prefer to have my beautiful model wearing the clothes. The life in dollhouses is an idea I would like to revisit but perhaps with a concept that is less commercial.


Digital Identities

Whilst I was deciding which profile picture to use in a social networking site, I realised that we have never been this open about our own identity or how we want it to be perceived by the people around us. We choose to show an image of our self to the rest of the world and allow judgments to be made about who we are.

I collected 15 of my own profile pictures and layered them together to show more of myself in one go. I continued this process with images of my classmates  to explore the identity they chose to share with the world or at least with everyone except for the black listed “limited profile” individuals…

Like Idris Khan, I have used mostly appropriated images but unlike Kahn these images were not “works of art”.  The result is something resembling abstract painting and in a way the identities of the individuals become blurred. The illusion of sharing one’s identity is thus broken.  Do we really show our true self with those photographs or is it just the illusion of self?


Destruction, air pollution and government policies… Where do you stand or are you taking a nap?

European Environment Agency (EEA) has announced in their Air Quality in Europe 2013 report that 90% of the urban population within the European Union is exposed to one of the most damaging air pollutants and that the levels in which that damage can be caused to our health is lower than once it was believed.

Turkey is still not in the EU, however the finding of the EEA’s report still applies to the country I was born in.  Furthermore in 2012 The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) concluded that the level of air pollution was one of the highest out of the 36 countries that took part in the Better Life Index.

What does not make sense is the fact that compulsory “environmental impact assessments” for new projects had their rules changed.  For instance, an area that would have been defined as a forest previously is now considered “not forest” or it can be classified under the new heading of forests that won’t benefit from protection.

Environmental policies were one of the reasons why thousands of people were protesting during the Istanbul Riots in May/June 2013 including myself.  The GP-5 Soviet Russian Gas Mask in these photographs was not the one I have used to protect my respiratory system but an eBay purchase to be used in this photo-shoot inspired by the events.

The Farmer’s Daughter

The Farmer's Daughter

The Medicine Woman

The Medicine Woman

Joel’s Cube

Joel's Cube

Day Dream In Colour

Day Dream In Colour

I don’t let myself

I don't let myself

The Ugly Pretty, The Pretty Ugly and Everything in between





















Are we obsessed with the word PRETTY? Am I pretty? Is she pretty?  Is he pretty?  Is it pretty? Are we all pretty?

Pretty… Pretty…Pretty…

The more I type the word pretty, the more it feels like I misspelled it, but my trusted spellcheck would tell me if I had.

During my extended Turkish summer I learnt a new game called “Güzellik mi Çirkinlik mi?” which translates roughly as Beauty or Ugliness.  My father explained how the game worked, and I know you may think it is weird to learn this from your father at the age of 27 but in my defence one of our key players was my 4-year-old niece Lidya.

The rules were easy: if you are chosen to go first, you decide to either ask to see everyone do a “pretty” face or an “ugly” one.  Then you choose the person that you think embodied the expression the best, and then it is their turn to either make everyone pretty or ugly.

I really doubt that guidance counselors or child psychologists would recommend this game, but to be honest playing it with someone so young and less exposed to media and social norms was very revealing.

We form an idea of what is attractive and what is not very early on, and these ideas are very resistant to time and age. The 56-year-old granddad, the 27-year-old uncle, the 4-year-old girl and any other willing souls, all pulled similar expressions.

I still think that I had the ugliest face in the game but that will never ever be published on this blog (also my camera-phobic family would not take the photo).

Then again, never say never.