Wyoming Arts Council

Casper’s Gabrielle Reeves uses her artwork to explore Turkish concept of “Huzun”

gabrielle 001sThe Corridor Gallery in downtown Casper announces “Hüzün: Memories of Istanbul,” an upcoming guest artist show opening on March 29 at 7 p.m. and featuring the work of Casper artist Gabrielle Reeves. “Hüzün: Memories of Istanbul” is a body of original artwork which seeks to define the root of the show’s title by imagery. After living, working and studying in Istanbul, Turkey, Reeves acknowledged, analyzed and embraced “Hüzün,” a visceral Turkish state of mind more common to Istanbul than many know. The public and press are invited to join Gabrielle Reeves for the opening reception on the evening of Friday, March 29 at 7 p.m. There will be a cash bar at hand and the artist will be available for questions during the opening night. “Hüzün: Memories of Istanbul” will ONLY be showing through Sunday, April 1.

Artist Statement

Hüzün, the Turkish word for melancholy is among the most mysterious concepts I have ever come across.  Hüzün has an Arabic root, and in one sense refers to a type of spiritual anguish, suffered when we grow in attachment to worldly pleasures, and in turn experience a distance from God and spirituality.  However, the modern concept of hüzün goes far beyond the history of the word.  It is not only a spiritual affliction experienced by devout Muslims, but also a much more ambiguous emotion felt the residents of Istanbul.  Turkish author Orhan Pamuk described hüzün as “the emotion that a child might feel while looking though a steamy window.”  Hüzün is not the melancholy of a single person, but a dark mood shared by millions of people together, by the entire city of Istanbul.  Although a grim concept, hüzün is central to Istanbul culture; it binds Istanbullus together, and is shared with pride throughout the community.
To a newly arrived visitor, the deepest presence of hüzün may go unnoticed, or simply described as a mysterious presence or air about the city.  I myself, emerging as a new resident of Istanbul, was ignorant to the strong effect hüzün has over the city.  In the first months, I characterized the feeling as a magic, or dream-like quality that possesses every detail of the strange and beautiful city.  Indeed, it is a kind of magic, a type of collective awareness that is unique to Istanbul.  However, as the months wore on, and winter settled over the Bosphorus, I felt the presence of hüzün so tangibly I could almost touch it, and I experienced the heavy weight of Istanbul for the first time.  These works are my hüzün, my Istanbul, my surreal world.

Artist Bio

Gabrielle Reeves is a visual artist currently based in Wyoming.  After receiving her Associates of Fine Arts Degree from Casper College she moved to Laramie, where she completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting.  Throughout her work as an undergraduate, Gabrielle participated in several study abroad programs including a semester in London and a summer drawing class in Turkey.  Gabrielle has participated in a number of juried and solo exhibitions in and outside of the University.  Several of her paintings have been commissioned and purchased by the University of Wyoming and can be viewed in various buildings throughout the campus. Upon graduation in 2010, Gabrielle completed a one year Post Baccalaureate Program when she assisted in both the drawing and painting departments.  At this time, she was also working as an art educator at the University Art Museum, as well as at a local preschool.  In June of 2011, Gabrielle moved to Istanbul Turkey where she worked as a freelance artist and English teacher.  During her time in Turkey, she also balanced art with a job working in a local carpet shop doing web design and correspondence.  Gabrielle is now living and working as an artist in Casper and plans to attend graduate school in the near future.


For more information, please contact Gabrielle Reeves via email at gabbyreeves85@yahoo.com or The Corridor Gallery at (307) 333-7035, Reed at (307) 259-8001 or visit www.thecorridorgallery.com

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