Cos Ahmet is a multi-disciplinary artist. His practice is made up of textiles, in the form of woven tapestry, collage, printmaking and object making. His interest in textiles as a medium of exploration in to identity, self and the body uses the practicalities of the medium to discern a metaphor within the human form, representing these as: ‘thread as the thought’, ‘warp as the skeleton’, ‘weft as flesh or skin’, and ‘weave’ as the soul.
Ahmet acknowledged that he treats the body in two ways; the physical and immediate through his own identity, as well as the organic and abstracted presentations, referring to the ‘suggested’ or ‘part’ body. Both comment on the complex nature of the self and communicating their own type of body dialogue. These dialogues take on their own symbolism and appearance, but are implicit presences, traces or imprints of identity and self.
The artist stated that what attracted him to woven tapestry was how this ancient form, one of the oldest forms of weaving, seemed to be open to manipulation and change, and in the right hands this is altogether possible. I was seduced by its distinctive, handsome exterior, its tactile and versatile properties, which satisfied my hunger to produce something different. What I was most definite about was that my approach would be unorthodox, unusual, and not what my tutors wanted – mundane, pretty, woolly flat pictures!
The basic techniques may have remained the same for centuries, but I was more interested in taking tapestry somewhere it had never been before. I had to first learn the craft before turning it into art. I see tapestry weaving very much as an art form. This is something that I continue to push in my practice, and I don’t feel that I have even scratched the surface of the possibilities yet, and shall pursue this as far as the medium will let me. Woven tapestry seems to be rather popular, where top named artists seem to be championing the medium, having their various works turned into woven translations. However, woven tapestry as an art form is increasingly based within the realms of fine art. (Cos Ahmet: Something Made by Hand (2015) TextileArtist.org)
The artist stated my most recent works have adopted this very neutral palette and have come under criticism by some who say my work is colourless and bland or lacks colour. I, of course disagree! For me, each project or body of work demands different things from you, and this is reflected in the choice of palette, the choice of materials, and the choice of discipline. I work in a very intuitive way, and always allow the works to speak and give me their needs or demands, and sometimes this means that colour becomes limited.
This limited palette in the bodies of work such as ‘Thread Is A Thought’, and the new works in my current exhibition ‘Points of Juncture’ both adopt this minimal palette. Memory and dialogue are ever present in my work. I see these forms of memories as a neutral palette and refer to this use of colour as a ‘faded history’, something that evokes a past, perhaps something that is not as clear as one would like, but sits in a pale silhouette – a ghost of itself, presented as gestures, traces or presences.
As stated by Cos Ahmet the body, self, identity, sexuality, and memory are emotive features in my work, where textiles and other disciplines I employ become the vehicle in which to express these motifs.