While drawing on sources from her personal history as well as collective memory, Feleksan Onar's works in glass deal with the notions of identity, constructed narratives, historical relations and impacts of politics on society. In her most recent work, ‘Perched,’ her story-telling in glass reflects on the Syrian refugee situation while with ‘41X’, exhibited during the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, she particularly focuses on the cultural interaction that evolved through the art of glassmaking between the Ottoman Empire and Venice.
Primarily, Onar started off in a private atelier and later on received her formal education in glass at Glass Furnace, Istanbul. She initiated her own atelier, Fy-Shan Glass Studio, in 2003. Since then, she systematically educated herself formally in all sorts of glass making techniques: fusing and slumping, kiln casting, flame working, hot-forming and blowing, cold-working and practices to incorporate several techniques in her works to present the amazing qualities of the material she has fallen in love with.
‘Glass, not only expresses my past and present, but also my anxieties and expectations for future. Through glass, I speak, breathe and live.’
Feleksan Onar, born and raised in Turkey, completed her undergraduate degree in economics and music history at Cornell University and graduate studies at Harvard Business School. She works out of her atelier in Pera, Istanbul as well as in Berlin and Murano. The artist’s works are housed in important public collections worldwide including the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Pergamon Museum, Berlin; Riihimaki Glass Museum, Finland; Contemporary Glass Art Museum, Eskisehir, among others as well as in private collections. Her most recent solo exhibitions have been held at Arkas Museum, Izmir; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Pergamon Museum, Berlin and Magazzino Gallery at Palazzo Polignac, Venice.