Clarksville, TN – Through January 12th, 2020, the Jostens Gallery of the Customs House Museum & Cultural Center is featuring the sculptural dresses of Belgin Yucelen.
The exhibition, titled Semblance, consists of garments portraying a past culture’s sophistication. Yucelen creates her dresses similar to the Turkish styles of the 17th through 19th centuries. She used traditional techniques and materials from Turkey and other parts of Asia to add embellishments to the metal dresses.
Belgin believes that on an individual level clothing is a visual metaphor for identity. This communication through the language of clothing epitomizes our modesty, social status, and addresses the themes of place, memory and family and opens up possibilities for disguise.
In the gallery, the garments float freely, suspended from the ceiling. Shadows created on the walls highlight the adorning embroideries and jewels. The simplicity of shapes, the beauty of the embellishments, and the lightness of fabrics move these works into contemporary time.
From one such copper piece, Silk Robe with Tulip, the turquoise flower prominently stands out from the shadowed image.
Belgin says of the work, “I chose the color turquoise because it was widely used in Ottoman tiles and pottery. As a gemstone, turquoise was originally mined in Persia and traded along the Silk Road through Turkey to Europe. The French named the stone after the Turkish traders they came across.”
In Holland between 1634 and 1637 single tulip bulbs of certain types could be sold for the equivalent sum of a townhouse in the best quarters of Amsterdam. In the Ottoman Empire tulips were also greatly esteemed and repeatedly used as a motif in architecture and crafts.
She is a recipient of grants including the 2018 Moon and Stars Project Grant, 2017 and 2018 Fellow by the Clark Hulings Fund, 2018 Kristal Mart? award by KALID, 2017 Tending Space Fellowship for Artists by Hemera Foundation, and she is a National Sculpture Society elected member. Her work was publicized in Fort Morgan Times, Pittsburgh Articulate, The Tribune Review, Les Femmes Folles, the Daily Camera, Chicago Reader, The Examiner and Reporter Herald.
Yucelen is the founder of House of Serein, which is a creative space designed for community use and studios for artists and freelancers in Boulder, Colorado.
About the Customs House Museum
Located in the heart of historic downtown Clarksville, Tennessee, the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center is the State’s second largest general museum. The original portion of the building was constructed in 1898 as a U.S. Post Office and Customs House for the flourishing tobacco trade. Incorporating a number of architectural styles, the original structure is one of the most photographed buildings in the region.
With over 35,000 square feet of the region’s best hands-on activities and special events…people of all ages agree – the Customs House Museum is well worth the stop!
The Explorer’s Gallery is packed with fun, learning and fantasy in Aunt Alice’s Attic, McGregor’s Market and kitchen, and of course – the Bubble Cave! Finally, get “all aboard” to see our fantastic model trains. Our volunteer engineers “ride the rails” every Sunday afternoon from 1:00pm to 4:00pm.
Regular museum hours are 10:00am to 5:00pm Tuesday through Saturday, and 1:00pm to 5:00pm on Sundays. Adult admission is $7.00, Senior Citizens and College ID $5.00, Ages 6 to 18 $3.00, and under six years and Museum members are free.
The Customs House Museum is located at 200 South Second Street. For more information, call 931.648.5780 or visit their website at www.customshousemuseum.org