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Senem Diyici paints as she sings and sings as she breathes


Singing, she learned at the age of five with her father, in the European quarter of Istanbul, where Turks, Kurds, Greeks, Hungarians, Italians, Armenians, French and Jews mingle; various cultures which it will make its honey. So many grafts on the family tree that will give this wisp of contrasting riches: Senem. In 1969, she recorded her first album, Nar Hanim; she’s sixteen years old. From then on, always on the move and always alert, haphazardly along the roads, paths and bushy paths she traverses, Senem crosses classical Ottoman music, Turkish popular music and Anglo-Saxon music, and lovingly and skillfully constructs , his musical universe. In 1973, she recorded her second album, Ham Meyva, then left for Europe.

Painting, she also learned with this father with dream sandals, touching the world, living on painting and poetry and surviving a civil servant position in the Navy.

However, Senem only practiced painting when she landed in France in the 1980s … to survive – a strange reversal – before living on music, selling on the sly, even in the courtyard of the Louvre, watercolors of monuments. Parisians! And it is only since 1997 that she has given herself to painting and that instantly she is a painter, or more exactly that she is the painter she was meant to be. There are painters who find themselves only slowly. Estève, who draws and paints from the age of fifteen, Estève is not Estève until he is approaching his fifties; thirty-five years so that, from as far away as one sees one of his paintings among the paintings of ten other painters, we cry out: an Estève! There are some who are themselves from the very first paintings. Bernard Buffet is one of them … Senem Diyici too. Instantly, it has her universe et her manner; very quickly, she invented and mastered her technique: oil on glass. These subtle and intense glazes, light and deep, she deposits them directly, in a single spray, on the glass itself with an innate sense of composition and color; his technique does not allow repentance any more than watercolor.

His works are not named, a title would reduce them and lock them up, Senem wants the viewer to be free and enter his Spanish inns. Cosmic journey, in the tumultuous or peaceful abysses of the universe, some will say; biological journey, to the heart of the cell, to the tortuous origins of life, others will say. Macrocosms? Microcosms? These works are scaleless, as are perfectly composed works.

I remember a Senem recital where traditional melodies from Anatolia, Azerbaijan and Armenia were linked in a long prayer with infinite and subtle modulations, from breath and whisper to cry. There arose an overwhelming feeling of fragility and strength mixed together that brought you to the verge of tears. A fragility and a strength that we find in Senem’s painted works which are, if not a prayer, a long meditation on the world and, in this strong sense, yes, cosmic works. Senem paints as she sings, as she is. What if all these paintings were just self-portraits? What if they were a journey to the heart of Senem?

Before disappearing as an unknown painter, her father, in despair, burned all his paintings. Senem will not have to burn her paintings.

Jean Pierre Verdet, astrophysicist.