FLORA BEAGLEY / Artists of Motley: Seçil Erel
On a sunny September day and surrounded by textured canvases dripping in colour, artist Seçil Erel shows us around her new London studio. Canvases boasting colour are propped up around the room – seeing a glossy crimson painting above the fireplace, it’s easy to understand how she finds mixing colours a deeply meditative process.
“I thought to myself: if I can move to London, from a developing country, I have to help other people. I didn’t know I could help others until now.”
Three years ago, award-winning Turkish artist Seçil moved her life and art from Istanbul to London. “The city is a very inspirational place,” she says, “I was born in Istanbul, educated there, and eventually became an established artist there. But I’m a passionate and curious person” she goes on to explain, “and I was really curious to find out what was going on outside of my comfort zone and country.”
During lockdown, Seçil Erel and Anthony Harris founded Harris & Erel Art, a digital gallery showcasing art and promoting positivity, inviting viewers to share their vibrant outlook on life and art.
The co-founders have a combined 40 years’ experience creating art and working with artists so it was natural, during these uncertain times, that they both turned to art. The gallery aims to support artists from developing countries by helping to invest in and represent their artworks on a global stage.
As Seçil continues to guide us round her studio, it is clear that colour plays a key role in her paintings.
“I’m spending lots of time on my palette, mixing the colours – I find it meditative. I am deeply connected with the universe and I can see the details to observe and then transform into artwork. I spent years trying to understand rigid structures and systems in the world – like maths and architecture – but now, I kind of connect in a more spiritual way. I’m able to feel and share more now. I feel like I’m living above the clouds. I want to share this feeling with my audience. Colours will always be the main thing in my works. Textures and layers are very important, too. They are all fragments of the universe for me.”
“I’m obsessed with collecting things to keep a memory alive. I keep a memory book of all the colours I use in my paintings. I really like to create different things because we all use these colours everyday, but I try to find my own unique way of using them.”
Turning to the Oberon Ring, Seçil shows us the work she’s created, inspired by the new ethereal Coline Assade collection. The canvas features a sea of deep, forest-like greens.
“My paintings connect with different characters and different emotions inside of me.”
Seçil says, “I have a deep connection with these special rings. They are like my paintings. This ring looks beautiful but at the same time it’s so wild with lots of small details inside of it. With this painting, I used the same colours and textures. In my opinion, if I have a piece of jewellery or art, it has to be special and it has to connect with me. Because of this, I love Motley’s collections and, specifically, these pieces. This time I’m deeply connected through my art.”