Güler Ates  


Artist’s statement

An exploration into the bewildering experience of displacement lies at the heart of my work. I engage with the potential of pattern and motif within Islamic art; layers held within lavish architectural spaces, offering cover or exposure, alluding to the theatrical. My work begins with film and photography, yet with a subsequent layering of imagery – resulting in a disruptive blur of cultural perceptions. The idea of ‘the veil’, which sits at the core of my art practice, is thus compounded. Manifestations of this are realised through performance and site-responsive activities that merge Eastern and Western sensibilities.


Born in 1977 in Eastern Turkey, Ates moved to London, and graduated in 2008 from the Royal College of Art with an MA in Printmaking. Currently she is Digital Print Tutor at the Royal Academy Schools. A key aspect of her work springs from international residencies such as a month in Udaipur, generously supported by Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation, and resulting in an exhibition at Art First. In April 2014 there followed a momentous residency in Rio de Janeiro, in the wake of the Olympics, and later that year in Turkey (Art Suites International Workshops). By dramatic contrast, she undertook a residency at Eton College, in the Headmaster’s Lodge in 2015, the Art Site Fest Residency in Turin in 2018 and Art Stations of the Cross in Amsterdam in 2019.

Ates has exhibited regularly in the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition, and in Amsterdam, Turin, Naples, Rio de Janiero, Istanbul, Japan and the USA. Her work is collected internationally and has entered print collections including those of the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Government Art Collection, the Royal Academy of Art, Eton College Collection, the Ben Uri Collection, the Royal Collection and the Museum of Oriental Art, Turin, The Van Loon Museum Netherlands, the MAR Rio de Janiero.