The Artists for Nature Project implemented by the Nature Conservation Centre in collaboration with Society of Wildlife Artists (SWLA) brought together Turkish and English artists to raise awareness about the endangered epidemic sweetgum trees in Muğla, Köyceğiz. The young artists who had the chance to observe nature with the experienced wild-life artists from United Kingdom created more than 400 works of art. By this means, a new door has been opened into the wildlife art in Turkey.
The Art in Sweetgum Forest Collection that also tells the story of young artists who are interested in nature and who stepped out of their studios to get to know the nature for the first time, met with thousands of art-lovers in London’s famous Mall Galleries after Köyceğiz, Bodrum, and Marmaris. The last stop of the collection, which attracted great interest in the 53rd conventional exhibition “The Natural Eye” organized SWLA, was Ankara.
The exhibition was held in Gallery Çankaya between 11-18 November 2016 and the art works of 30 Turkish and British artists were exhibited. The photographs reflecting the artists’ working atmosphere in the forest were also displayed. During his opening speech, Murat Başer, Ministry for EU Affairs Civil Society Dialogue Programme Coordinator, emphasized the importance of civil society dialogue in the EU accession process and stated that the Nature Conservation Centre’s dialogue project which bought together the themes of environment and art, contributed to the EU-Turkey civil society dialogue by reaching out to a target group larger than expected.
During the exhibition, a relief printing workshop was held and the sweetgum leaves were reinterpreted by the participants on paper. The story of Anatolian sweetgum trees and the works of art produced during the project will be compiled in a book once the exhibition is over.