Undoubtedly, masks have become the face of the coronavirus pandemic and will likely be the image that sticks in our minds long after the virus has passed. One Turkish artist has decided her responsibility is to use this time of isolation to preserve this image as a reminder of this chapter of our history for future generations, using masks as her canvas.
When the highly contagious illness began to sweep the globe, artist Funda İyce Tuncel felt particularly put upon by the restrictions on her daily life, as she was no longer able to go to her studio in the capital Ankara. However, unwilling to have her creativity held back by the new measures, she decided, “I must produce whatever I can.”
“I said that if I cannot go to the studio, I will turn my home into a small studio,” she told Anadolu Agency (AA).
Tuncel thus decided to use masks, which had become mandatory to wear in public places in Turkey, as her canvas.
"The artist is also a witness to history and a person who makes a note of history in their works. It is never possible for the artist to remain indifferent to what is happening,” Tuncel explained.
“This period will surely come to an end. However, there is a need to bear testimony to the experience. Every field, every profession will make its mark in history,” she said.
Motivated by her desire to produce something by which to remember the days of the pandemic, Tuncel pulled together a group of friends to create works of arts on masks, saying: “When the pandemic days are over, we will exhibit these works collectively."
Tuncel believes art has an important role to play in the time of the coronavirus, explaining: "Of course, these kinds of difficult periods come and go... but art can give us morale and boost our motivation in them."
Tuncel encouraged artists and amateurs alike to use whatever materials are available to them to create art in their homes.
“We must make every branch of art a part of our daily lives by keeping our morale up and not losing our hope. Let's make beautiful artworks with our children and our elders who cannot leave the house,” she said.
“When everything ends tomorrow, you can be sure that the memories of today will be made more meaningful with every work we make,” Tuncel concluded.
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