Mehves Lelic (b.1990, Istanbul) is an artist and educator. She received her BA from the University of Chicago. Her work has been exhibited internationally in venues such as Cosmos Arles Books in Arles, France; the Rotterdam Photo Festival in the Netherlands, Academy Art Museum in Easton, MD; Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, LA, and The Photographers’ Gallery Istanbul. She has been awarded a National Geographic Expeditions Council Grant, the Turkish Cultural Foundation Cultural Exchange Fellowship and the City of Chicago Individual Artist Program Grant. Her work has been published in the National Geographic, GEO Magazine, Mitos, the Humble Arts Foundation blog and Ain’t Bad’s What We’ve Found Series. She is an adjunct professor of photography at Anne Arundel Community College.
I am interested in exploring the adornment, especially within the context of feminine self-reflection and empowerment. I photograph the commodities, mannerisms, symbolic gestures and accessories that seek to enhance the physical appeal or social status of the wearer, who more often than not belongs to my immediate community of Turkish-American and Muslim-American women. I am also intrigued by the signifiers and symbolisms that may point to said adornment, which may further compound the complex relationship between longing to attain validation and responding to social, cultural and religious tugs in the other direction. Some questions I ask are, is adornment restrictive or freeing? How do we look for it in an ever-connected world?
To view more of Mehves Lelic’s work please visit her website.