Colours and Threads of Turkey

Timeless creations by Gönül Paksoy



Gönül Paksoy’s designs are the harmonious reflection of the past and the future. Paksoy uses old or new hand-woven textiles, always of Turkish origin and dyed with natural colours in special combinations. These combinations have a way of enfolding, of carrying one away, of giving insight into Turkish culture. The new patches she uses in the old, or the old patches in the new, are not patches but a synthesis of our epoch, peculiar to Paksoy.


Brocade is sometimes used in the designs; sometimes she uses an old raw silk crepe, sometimes silk velvet, and sometimes tea and pomegranate. A poppy is included and a completely different design emerges.


One of the fundamental characteristics of her designs is that natural dyes are used with textiles. The source of these colours, which puzzles everybody, is found in old Turkish rugs and kilims. It is not possible to disregard all their characteristics, such as their richness, simplicity, frugality and equilibrium, which have made them famous all over the world.


Instead of copying traditional Turkish colours, she creates her own palette. The first thing she changes in old textiles is the colour. Her work with colours forms the basis of her artistic creations. Dyeing fabrics over and over and covering the underlying cloth with patches of another type of cloth makes Paksoy-designed clothes reminiscent of collages.


The pure and simple lines of her designs place her creations outside the boundaries of time. The details of her classical style interpret the past, the present and the future all at once, rendering her designs timeless. The costumes Paksoy creates are not fashion designs; a fashion lasts a limited period of time and then it changes, while her designs are meant to last, like paintings or sculptures. Instead of clay, mud, wood, oil paint or pastel colours, she uses natural dyes and textiles.


Gönül Paksoy collects old Turkish textiles, but instead of storing them away, she makes use of them, and the smallest shred of cloth acquires value in her hands. Her aim is to keep textiles alive, as these are documents of a culture which must be preserved for the future. (Booklet of the exhibition)

The exhibition is curated by Gönül Paksoy in collaboration with Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in Estonia and Kadriorg Art Museum.

The exhibition is supported by Estonian Ministry of Culture and Turkish Airlines.

Exhibition designers Gönül Paksoy and Tuuli Aule.

The exhibition is open until January 25, 2009.