At the turn of the millenium Turkish artist Ali Abayoglu crashed into a tree, wrecking his car beyond repair.
Thankfully his life was spared, but his limbs were not – leading to a painful period where the young man, now 34, was confined to a wheelchair.
After several bouts of surgery and what he describes as an ‘extreme’ effort on the part of doctors, Abayoglu made a full recovery. But throughout the gruelling recuperation period his mind was left time to reflect on both his body, and the medical marvels that were being performed on it. Slowly a fascination with skeletal structure and human anatomy began to build.
It’s a fascination which remains with the artist to this day, and 15 years later those hospital experiences continue to inspire much of the artist’s work, which is now showcased in Bahrain with Abayoglu’s ambitious ‘Entropy of Fusions’ exhibition. Currently on display at La Fontaine Centre of Contemporary Art as part of the ongoing Spring of Culture festival, the show sees the artist shape scrap metal from wrecked cars into eye-catching sculptures and meaningful meditations on the human form, often recalling the contortions it is forced to make during yoga.
‘The traces of my experiences can be seen through my artwork,’ says the artist, ‘which are mainly composed of car parts collected from junk yards.’
There’s another ingredient of inspiration at play in Abayoglu’s work – glass. After completing a degree in fine art sculpture, the artist went on to study glass arts, today fusing the two mediums together in his work.
‘Instead of fairy tales, my father used to tell me and my sister stories of where, by whom and how glass was first made,’ Abayoglu continues. ‘Those stories have stayed with me.
‘Deep down, almost subconsciously, I feel like reducing the entropy of the universe by combining junk yard material with fusion techniques – just as my doctors did years ago when they brought my pieces together and reduced my entropy.’
Ali Abayoglu’s Entropy of Fusions is on display at La Fontaine Centre of Contemporary Art until June 15 (17 230 123).