Joseph Clayes III Gallery
Irène de Watteville and Beliz Iristay: Beyond Blue – Mavi – Ma Vie
January 12–March 9, 2019
Beliz Iristay and Irène de Watteville, two female ceramicists, one from Turkey and one from France, collaborate in this provocative and surrealist installation. One of their foci is the traditional Iznik and French blue glaze of their native countries. In this joint exhibition they explore beyond the color of the title, with each showing their personal creative clay works.
Beliz Iristay is a mixed-media artist who was born in Izmir, Turkey, and currently lives on both sides of the border in San Diego and Ensenada, Mexico. She got her BFA at Izmir Dokuz Eylul, where she studied traditional Turkish ceramics. After completing her thesis, she started work at the International Glass Furnace School in Istanbul as a teaching assistant and glass production mold maker. She moved to United States in 2005, and in 2016 she built her ceramic studio, TURKMEX, in the Guadalupe Valley of Ensenada. In her work, Beliz uses the venerable traditions she learned in her home countries and combines them with contemporary techniques. The subject of her work is often inspired by the traditions and politics of the three countries in which she has lived. Beliz now passes on her ceramic knowledge by teaching ceramics in her studio. She is a “border artist” and continues to explore new ways to develop her art in different forms.
Irène de Watteville has made her home in San Diego County for more than four decades, but her birth in the Alsace region of France— and her instinctive French sensibilities—are evident in the tiles and inspired ceramic objects for which she is known. She spent almost 20 years painting tile murals using 17th century Majolica techniques and now focuses on porcelain with a je ne sais quoi. During Irène’s 10 years on the Solana Beach Public Arts Commission, a city council member accused her of wanting to tile the whole town. She pled guilty.
The sculpture Las Hermanitas, 2018, by Beliz Iristay was purchased with funds from the Art Committee: Athenaeum Permanent Collection 2019.02. The sculpture Kintsugi Tulip Plaque, 2018 by Irène de Watteville was purchased with funds from the Art Committee: Athenaeum Permanent Collection 2019.01.