By Al Gord
Ozlem Thompson was born in Istanbul, where Asia meets Europe. Although Ozlem had been interested in art from a very early age, she went to school to study science. In university she obtained an undergraduate degree in biology and she completed her master’s degree in botany with a thesis on the subject of ‘Exotic Plants and Their Usage in Industrial Design’.
After graduating Ozlem could not imagine herself working in the academic field in Istanbul. She decided to listen to her inner voice and concentrate on her art, making it her career focus. She moved to Belsize Park, North London, where she works and lives in the same flat where Mondrian used to paint his revolutionary modern art pieces before the start of the Second World War.
While drawing was always something she enjoyed, Ozlem wanted to make her mark as a painter. Influenced by some of the great artists in history such as Mondrian, Miro and Kadinsky, she began creating large scale acrylic pieces, using a wide range of vibrant colours. Even though Ozlem now viewed herself as a painter, her background in biology and organic structures also influenced her work. This is evidenced in the way she enjoys combining different disciplines and recreating them on canvas.
The goal of her work is to create synaesthesia, whereby the visual appearance of her work will create reactions with the other senses. She views her work as positive energy on canvas, one that generates an impromptu flow of strong colours and shapes. Ozlem merges intellectual concepts with visual ideas, mixing real and imagined organic structures with one another. This creates the impression of dream-like worlds and creatures all converging to create a vivid explosion of reality meeting fantasy.
Ozlem describes her work as a reflection of how she sees and interprets the world. She likes using bold colours to express feelings woven together with organic abstractions based on what she imagines. Colours satisfy her more than anything and she hopes to convey this feeling to the viewer. Ozlem loves using a method of painting, where she creates without preparation. This gives her the complete freedom to paint what she feels like at that moment in time. Her work has been well received and she has begun to be recognized by various celebrities. Her works adorns the homes of musician Brian May from Queen and actors and musical theatre performers and singers Anita Dobson, Andy Nyman and Maria Friedman.
Ozlem’s vibrant work can be seen on her Instagram site.