Stepping Stones

exhibition by Richard Bartle
Vladimir Iliev Collection
June 7 - June 22, 2023

“Stepping Stones”, an exhibition by the English artist Richard Bartle, takes the audience on a gripping and sincere journey through the streets of Istanbul.

The foundation of the project “Stepping Stones” the artist builds on philological, historical and cultural research from 18 years ago, which he combines with overcoming the tension arising from his encounters with the fascinating and amazing urban fabric of Istanbul.

The gallery exhibits works from two series. The works from the first series are inspired by scenes that Bartle came across while running along the man-made rocky shore in Kadıköy. They tell not only the stories of his own journey, but also those of the locals who occupy these spaces, and whose traces are found among these rocks and cracks, marking dissenting interventions in the form of graffiti on the accessible surfaces of these rocks.

The second series is inspired by the experiences of Bartle, who, while living and working in Istanbul, became acquainted with the miniature painters of the Ottoman and Persian imperial courts. It focuses on the methods, styles, unique limitations and hierarchies within the craft workshops of the period. The works themselves use Istanbul’s landscape and architecture as source material, referencing the fabric of the city, street art and folk narratives. They take the audience along for a gripping and sincere journey through the streets of İstanbul while taking in the sights along the city and the shore through various points of view.

Richard Bartle (1967) is a contemporary visual artist and curator, with over 28 years of exhibitions and experience within the arts. He currently works between the UK and Istanbul. Bartle works in a variety of contemporary media including, painting, sculpture, installation, and video. His semi-autobiographical works are inspired by ideas around being immersed in a place or culture and are often informed by underlying issues around political, social, and environmental concerns.