Showing her work for the first time in London since her graduation from the Slade School of Fine Art and Goldsmiths College, the Lisbon-based Turkish artist presents a group of recent paintings under the title Missing Cat.
Stray cats are very common in Lisbon, but even more so in her native city, Istanbul. She draws a parallel here with the rising number of immigrants deserting Istanbul for cities across the globe due to Turkey's socio-political disquiet and its economic instability under the AKP government. Gediz herself is one such immigrant in Portugal, and it is this precarious condition that has shaped most of her work of the last five years.
Moved by the durability and versatility of discarded bits of furniture, personal items and waste material she regularly finds on the streets of Lisbon, Gediz reassembles them in juxtaposition with the common tools of equipment of her studio. The resulting compositions are painted matter-of-factly, embodying the light and shadows of the room they are in, or otherwise by staging several layers of their own configuration.
Leyla Gediz (born Istanbul, 1974) holds an important place in Turkey for her innovative research into painting as a contemporary practice. Her work is included in the collections of Istanbul Modern, Arter (Istanbul), ARCO Foundation (Madrid) and Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven).