Photo of the artist during his artist residency with FABRIC in Manchester, 2015. Courtesy John Lynch
The core of Cos Ahmet’s work is centred on the body. Recurring themes of self, identity, sexuality, gender and memory, are emotive features in much of his work, displayed as a complex set of body dialogues. Shaped by his use of metaphors, the body becomes symbolised through various interlinks – points of juncture, where body and material respond or react with each other. These responses come to light in the diverse processes and characteristics of his practice, that range from woven tapestry, works on paper, to sculpture and objects, as he makes loose connections with their attributes to represent parts of the human form.
“I am interested in the idea of the body as a container that communicates memory, emotions and gestures, where ‘body’ and ‘material’ react with each other. These reactions stand as metaphors, representing the body and self as: ‘thread' as the thought, ‘warp' as the skeleton, ‘weft' as flesh or skin, and the ‘weave’ as the body or soul.“
Cos Ahmet studied his BA Honours in Constructed Textiles at Middlesex University, where 'woven tapestry' became his specialism. What attracted him to this way of weaving was how an ancient form was open to the possibility of being moulded and sculpted, taking it out of its craft context and becoming art.
Ahmet’s approach to making, takes the traditional and practical methods of weaving, and combines the other disciplines in his practice to turn this quiet and meditative medium, typically associated with the domestic, and the subtlety of a craft usually reserved for intimate, detailed work, into challenging, visceral and thought provoking works.