Nilay Yardimci

I was raised in a family, whose daily life was intertwined with various forms of art; such as my mother made beautiful oil paintings and my grandfather played the violin and lute. Being inspired by this atmosphere, I took private painting lessons during my high school years to pursue art, however, the Turkish education system led me rather to study physics and science.

Accordingly, I have a BS in Physics from Istanbul University and completed an MBA program in Istanbul Technical University in 2004. After tutoring mathematics to college students for many years, in 2013 I moved out of Istanbul, where I was born and raised in, into another city and turned a brand-new page in my life. It was time for me to I do what I had always dreamed of and wanted: "Clay art". Thus I started working with clay at a workshop in Izmir, Turkey. At first, I made some small pottery in the form of plates and bowls, but making sculptures was always in my mind. I was making busts and faces until the wee hours of morning with the clay I kept carrying back my home.

The countries I have visited often inspire my work. Due to my husband's work, I have traveled to several countries and had the chance to meet some very interesting cultures. Some of my works are life-size artworks, while others are caricaturized with added details from my own imagination. For example, the women of the Padaung long neck tribe in Thailand or the Lesedi tribe in Africa were among the ones that really impressed me. After seeing them, the first moment I picked up the clay, artworks inspired by those cultures spontaneously started to take shape.

Other communities that impress me with their culture and patterns are the Native American tribes. It gives me great pleasure to come up with artworks influenced by their cultures. This could sometimes be a Native American sculpture, or sometimes a Native American pattern that I will add to the side of a vase.

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Website: nilayyardimci.com

Instagram: @ny.clayart