Didem Erbaş is an artist born in Istanbul, currently living and working in Istanbul. She holds a BA in Painting from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University and an MA in Visual Arts and Visual Communication Design at the Sabancı University. In her practice, she works with installation, site-specific installation/intervention, paintings, and video with a focus on geography, right to accommodation, human intervention to nature, traces on spaces, and transformation. In her works, she is interested in socio-politic issues in her living geography – Turkey. She participated in many group shows in Turkey and also London, Berlin, and Bulgaria. She was one of the first participants to the “Useful Art” studio under the direction of Tania Bruguera in 2013. In 2022, she was selected to the Alternative Art School Program supported by SAHA. After having worked as an assistant for the Major Works of Modern Art course at the Sabancı University for two years, she now continues her Ph.D. study at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University.
As an artist with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Painting at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, my practice evolved into a process of questioning the limits and potentials of the painting, during my Master of Arts education in Visual Arts and Visual Communication Design at Sabancı University. My artistic practice is based on making associations between my paintings and the objects I make or find. Rather than using solely the two-dimensional surface of the canvas, I prefer to use three-dimensional space featuring the sculptural qualities of certain objects which I strongly believe carry a self-memory. I utilize these objects as geographical and cultural artifacts in order to examine their embedded tales. Recently, I have been researching the relationships that the material can relate to space. I try to force the combination of materials such as ceramics, paper pulp, metal, silicone molds, plastics with industrial materials. I am interested in experiencing a different material in every project I do. This allows me to ‘discover’ material, a new ‘craft’ every time. That's why every exploration becomes a part of continuing my practice. In my undergraduate, I was interested in pushing the boundaries of the canvas and making it three-dimensional. I tried to carry this to a spatial and objective field in the field of Visual Arts and Visual Communication Design (MA), which I have done. I participated in some collective projects based on questions such as what it means to produce work together and what opportunities this experience offers, apart from the individual works I have done. Every experience contributed to my practice. My aim in applying to this program is to be together with people from other geographies and carry my current position one step further by executing ideas together. Learning is a process for me that can last my whole life and contribute to my work. Due to the global production-consumption-oriented design of the earth, we are witnessing unprecedented ecological events and living in a climate crisis. In this situation, the relationship between humans, non-humans, and nature has become metamorphosed; it allows us to experience a landscape where we witness "destructions", "extinction" and "transformations". According to this transformation, I delve into the question of how we can live with “changing landscapes”.