RDS Recommends with Hira Gedikoglu

July 10, 2024

Hira Gedikoglu is an artist living and working in London. She graduated from The Drawing Year in 2019 and also teaches on our Young Artists programme. Here she tells us about some of the artworks, books and places that she returns to for inspiration.


Inspiration can be a burden sometimes and rarely strikes when it is forced to. However, there are some places I go, physical, painted, drawn or written that never fail to make me think deeper.


The Huntarian Museum, Holborn, London.

I have a keen interest in the cross over between art and science and although the Natural History Museum has been the home of my childlike awe for many years, the epic scale of it can be overwhelming at times. On occasion, I like to venture Holborn way to visit the Hunterian Museum. Free, but not for the faint hearted, the museum is an extension to the Royal College of Surgeons and home to 70,000 specimens. Another bonus is that the Sir John Soane’s Museum is just across the square!

When I am in central London, I always nip into the National Gallery and head straight to Room 18 otherwise known (to me) as the Rubens room. All the figures in his paintings seem to be in a constant state of imbalance, as if they’re all sort of falling over. I find Rubens to be a useful guide in composition and colour.


A Lion Hunt, Peter Paul Rubens, National Gallery

Around the area, I tend to check out the latest exhibition in the RA. As I have not been in the country for a while, I can only highlight some of my past favourites:

  • William Kentridge whose practice seems to know no bounds in terms of medium or subject matter.
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William Kentridge at the Royal Academy (2022)

Picture 3

Books are a crucial part of problem solving when I get stuck and my studio is home to many of them, mostly exhibition catalogues and non-fiction science related literature:

  • Black Dog Folklore by Mark Norman, who is also the host of The Folklore Podcast.
  • Albrecht Dürer: complete collection of prints
  • Marlene Dumas: Tate Retrospective catalogue
  • Ara Güler’s Istanbul, which goes hand in hand with Orhan Pamuk’s non-fictional novel Istanbul
  • Book Of Symbols by Taschen

My studio is also a teaching space, so many of the books I have relate to lesson plans I deliver which organically feed into my own work so the journey of influences is cyclical. Very often, I am also incredibly inspired by my students’ responses to the tasks I give them so I am really looking forward to seeing London through their lens in August!


Artwork by Hira Gedikoglu, 2023

Hira is teaching on the Young Artists Summer School course, Artists of London: Walking, Drawing and Storytelling