Reminiscent of postcards, and likened to tokens of travel, Pekmen’s charming paintings hold a childlike naievity and an honest playfulness. This lightness might speak to the innate fascination she realised as a young girl in her neighbour’s studio, yet also clear is the influence that motherhood has had on her, in particular her son’s creative imagination which never fails to suprise and inspire.
Pekmen’s background in advertising has informed her graphic painting style. She makes clean, idealistic images which read well on a flat surface as well as in digital form. Escapist scenes are peppered with graphic representations of sunlight, shade and other natural formations. Whilst we are looking at one composition, the artist is depciting multiple perspectives: those of her many subjects. Each cluster of holiday-goers and sun- worshippers tell a different narrative, and the more time spent with the paintings, the more there is to discover.
Although the artworks have a comic book flatness, elements of each painting move or are in action. Notice the trees that have arms that warmly embrace their neighbours in “Wonderland:” a joyful painting that depicts the union of its subjects. Pekmen also demonstrates her talents for understanding perspective in “Pool Gang,” one might imagine the movement of the tree shadows reflected in the rippling swimming pool. Apparent is the artists aptitude for scultping with paint, she “love[s] to work with clay and draw inspiration from working in three dimensions.”
When she travels, Pekmen likes to live like the locals do, she visits markets, thrifts furniture and takes in the architectural landmarks which define the place. This was something Pekmen, like all of us, missed during lockdown. As a result, the paintings exhibited here came into being initally just as a form of therapy for the artist. Pekmen reminisced over the ordinary moments that were once taken for granted and become more and more precious as the world remains unfamiliar and ever-changing.