Artist Maryam Turki: Inside me is a curious and crazy

The Iraqi-American artist did not remember when she created her first work of art; Because making art has been part of her life since childhood. I grew up in an art house during the economic sanctions period in Iraq. Her father was a photographer, and her mother worked in the ceramics industry. She first started drawing, then traveled to the United States as a refugee at the age of 15, and this gave her flexibility to look at things ; As she watched the bustling New York scene intently. She is the artist, Maryam Turki, who was interviewed by “Madam” to reveal the secrets of her charming artwork.

Maryam Turki was admitted to the Baltimore School of Art, USA, a high school for the arts; Where I learned academic drawing. After high school, Maryam continues, “I moved to New York to study industrial design at the Pratt Institute; It gave me the skills to create sculptural furniture in which I use many materials, including clay that I mix myself from paper pulp, plaster and resin.”

i mean it

When I spread the clay on the foam, the foam naturally bends

Mariam uses materials in her works that appear more solid, or heavier in weight, and this is what some critics consider misleading. Mariam continues: “My works are of different weights, the Jidar series that I launched, for example, is very light; Because it’s made of foam on the inside, I mean it; Because when I spread the clay on the foam, the foam naturally bends, increasing the opacity of the work. My Oikos and Between Rise and Fall pieces are much heavier; Because its frame is made of wood and metal.

Shadow play

Mariam Turki’s photo

The French engineer Le Corbusier famously said: “Our eyes are made to see forms in the light; Light and shadow reveal these forms.” Mariam continues: “I am attached to this quote, and I believe that the sun is my ultimate inspiration. I am very attracted to the play of shadows, which occurs when the sun hits buildings. The shadows change and change every second as the Earth rotates and the direction of the Sun changes. Sometimes I catch the sun and create crazy shadows on a piece I’m working on. Almost as if these shadows helped me compose the piece.”

wretched buildings

Mariam Turki’s photo

Mariam’s artwork, as some critics find, is not devoid of an architectural sense, which constitutes a kind of inspiration in her works, such as the “contemporary” or “deconstruction” style of architecture, but Maryam has a different opinion ; She says: “I don’t need to be inspired by a particular architectural style. I simply use buildings as a symbol of the human cycle of building, destroying and rebuilding. The aesthetic of my work is a mix of miserable buildings that are either under construction or destroyed. That’s why I use rails; Because it represents the skeleton of an open-plan building in the building and in the event of destruction.”

I will use local sand in Saudi Arabia to get inspiration from being on this site

Identity complications and events

I never feel like I’ve reached the point of perfection in my work

Mariam mentioned that she needs time to understand even the work she has already done, and this can be considered extremely strange, she explains: “It means that the art-making process is endless for me. I never feel like I’ve reached the point of perfection in my work. Every piece I make inspires me another piece…etc. Every piece I make tells a story, but the story doesn’t necessarily define it. Making art for me is the nature of existence. All the complexities of identity, current events and life experiences are simultaneously expressed in my work. Being born in Baghdad and living through the conditions of war is only one part of my formation as a person.”
The lively character in Maryam’s work does not follow society’s stereotype of his kind, and she finds herself happy; Being able to access the personality of the child within her, she said, “Whatever the child’s type, far from the views of the society around me…my inner personality is a curious, cheerful and crazy child.”
Learn more: An artist makes tree trunks from her father’s clothes in honor of his father

houses built of mud

houses built of mud

Maryam has previously spoken about the language of the epidemic, which letters she chose for it, and about the ideas that have moved within her for the past two years, Maryam continues: “As a person who has lived in both Baghdad and New York , I am aware of the distribution and relationship between post-Baghdad war building vacancies versus New York City high-rise commercial building vacancies during the pandemic. Both have their own individual effects. Yet both echo a moving and powerful sense of emptiness, absence and a sudden loss of human energy.”
During the On Governors Island project in New York City, a tent was pitched for Maryam to be in direct contact with nature, to motivate her to create an art that represents construction and collapse, and or a tent for her in Saudi Arabia. Arabia, which place would she choose, and what idea did she have in mind Maryam recalls: “I would choose a place that is completely desert, surrounded by houses built of mud. I would be keen to use the local sand in the Kingdom to mix it with the clay and get inspiration from being in this place first. But often I can’t decide what art I will do in the future; Because my best art comes from “the present” in the present moment with my surroundings.”

I never feel like I’ve reached the point of perfection in my work. Every piece I make inspires me with another piece

surprise myself

I always look forward to surprising myself in the studio

Usually, every artist allows his work to reveal something of his secrets, but it is the repetition of “making” that allows her to access the voice within her to constantly engage with it, explains Maryam: “I loves happy accidents, and what makes I discover different ways in my work is that I myself am constantly looking for a surprise in the studio.
Maryam introduced a large group of furniture, which appears to be useless in the photos, but she denies this by saying: “It is useful, and it can be classified under the umbrella of “sculptural furniture” that is between art and design fall, and I was recently selected as one of the top 7 art designers in America for display at Carpenters Workshop, which is one of the largest carved furniture showrooms in the world.”
Mariam is currently performing several group shows in New York. In a few months it will begin making as a new series of permanent outdoor sculptures. “I’ve always pushed my boundaries, and I can’t tell you exactly what I’ll do in the future, but it will always be bigger and more unexpected,” she said.

Learn more: Learn amazing facts about photography on World Photography Day

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