Born in Istanbul in 1966, Sandra Cavdar studied stage design at the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University between 1985-1989. After graduating, for a long period of time, she continued to work in costume and stage design for theater. Since 2017, she has participated in solo and group contemporary art exhibitions and fairs.
"Sandra Cavdar’s work locates itself within the space of memory, where its definition becomes entangled with the stuff of dreams and the weight of time. Moving through her work, one feels a sense of weightlessness, as if they could disappear completely, without any limitation of the body, any effort. Werner Herzog, in his 1999 manifesto, describes an idea of liberated truth: a truth that “is mysterious and elusive, and can be reached only through fabrication and imagination.” This detachment from ‘fact’ reveals itself throughout Cavdar’s work, where what is real is located in waves of fantasy and fiction.
Her work references lines from John Cage’s journal, for instance, “the buzz of small creatures.” This buzz reveals itself as a web of connections between beings, each at the center of its own universe. There is a continuous fluttering throughout, capturing the sonic instant of a bee landing on a windowsill, or the unraveling of a parachute, certain mutable interactions with the wind. Gazing at her paintings, the viewer feels a sense of transportation, as if they’ve recovered a lost or hidden map. Without complete trust, these maps ask us to follow them into unimaginable worlds, and it is their sincerity that makes us say yes.
Employing a range of materials and methods, she reveals the difficulty of coming to terms with these fleeing multitudes, while at the same time creating a locale for their phantasmagoric uncertainty. Weaving together mythological landscapes with the stuff of this earth, she brings her viewer into a space where dancing bears coexist with people waiting for trains, where migrating giraffes coexist with wingless angels.
Her paintings become alternative monuments to the distinct sorrow experienced by a psychic sense of displacement. They engage with the fantastical notion of great migrations, where geographic boundaries become almost mythological spaces. The colossal movement of animals comes through strongly in her dreamlike landscapes as an emblem of emotions the human mind places upon the things it doesn’t know how to define. Cavdar takes us through a stream of consciousness world, where loneliness is a universal trait of togetherness."