Felekşan Onar will represent Turkey at the Venice Biennial scheduled for 26 May to 25 November this year. One of the primary architectural events of the world, the Venice Biennale 16th International Architectural Exhibition, will take place in Venice, while Glass Week will take place 9-16 September. Being the first Turkish glass artist invited to Venice Glass Week, Onar will participate in Glass Week with her “41X” works at the Palazzo Contarini Polignac.

Felekşan Onar is a successful name in Turkish art. Her brand, Fy-shan Glass Studio located in Pera, Istanbul, was founded by Onar in 2006. The studio designs and produces limited-edition functional art, decorative objects and lighting, reflecting expertise in glass blowing, casting, fusing, lampworking and cold-work. Fy-shan Glass Studio collections have been shown in Istanbul, Berlin, Stockholm, Venice and New York.

The artist’s “Perched/Birds without Wings” installation was included in the Berlin Islamic Museum show, which opened on 25 January and continued to 8 April, followed by a special gala. Onar drew attention to the plight of Syrian refugees with her work “Birds without Wings,” which was greatly inspired by the view from her studio in the Pera district of Istanbul.

The artist explained her story by saying: “Refugees find themselves in the middle of a chaotic city. Since they don’t know their future or where they will go, they sit on stairs and sidewalks as if they are perched there. They walk back and forth, but they are not able to fly away.” Felekşan Onar designed 27 birds inspired by these scenes. Her work was exhibited in the Aleppo Room of the Islamic Arts Museum in Berlin. She has recently prepared two brand new projects set to go on display.

Since its first show in Berlin, the flock of “Perched” has grown. This is mainly for two specific reasons: First, since the beginning of this story, the artist intended to make 41 pieces as the number is important for her personally. Second, as she intended to show them in Western countries to raise awareness for this social and political calamity, exhibiting them at the same time in different locations more pieces were needed.

As a result, a flock of 99 swallows has grown in Berlin where she has been making them at Berlin Glass since April 2017 and will soon be on their way to two new destinations: 41 will be shown starting with “Refugee Week” organized at V&A, London 17-24 June, while another group will be part of the curated show, “Oh What a World, What a World” at the Visual Art Center of New Jersey opening on 1 June.


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