Hale Ekinci

Feisty Women: Headscarf Issue
solvent transfer, acrylic, crochet on paper
75 x 50 in.

Pictorial histories, gender politics, and ritualistic traditions from my Turkish upbringing form the conceptual foundation of my work. Visually, they reflect my main influence— Middle Eastern fiber crafts. These colorful, pattern-based textiles employ visuals derived from Islamic mythology and take on hidden significance and veiled meaning. I explore my heritage, status as an immigrant, and the rich history of “women’s work” through non-linear videos and mixed media paintings embellished with fiber techniques. As a foreigner, I’m fascinated by language, especially idioms, and approach the indigenous visual patterns as a form of typography. Historically, textiles and photos are used to capture information and tell stories—not unlike a new language that is, at times hard to decipher.

In order to share the story of my hybrid folklore, I create pictorial scenes framed with crocheted edges reminiscent of headscarves—a prominent female and religiopolitical symbol. I start by transferring collaged photos of collectives or families from my shared cultures onto paper and fabric surfaces. Symbolic patterns are layered over the translucent pictures using acrylic paint, embroidery, and inkjet impressions that mimic the complexity of identity.

© Hale Ekinci