Defne Tesal (1985) born in Istanbul, Turkey.

Currently living and working in the Netherlands.


2017 (ongoing) MA in Fine Arts, AKV St. Joost, Netherlands

2010 BA in Stage and Costume Design, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Turkey

2007 Erasmus exchange at Accademia di Belle Arti di Carrara, Dept. of Scenography, Italy



2019 (upcoming) 50 hour Continued Education Certificate in Ashtanga Yoga with David Swenson

2018 200 hours Hatha Yoga Teacher Training, Arhanta Yoga Ashram, The Netherlands

2017 Zen Meditation introduction course,, The Netherlands


Artist collective

2016 (ongoing) founding member of HAH artist collective (other artists: Ahu Akgün,

Gizem Karakaş, Ayça Telgeren, Murat Yıldız), Istanbul, Turkey


Artist Residences

2016 KulttuuriKauppila Art Center, 3-months residency, Ii, Finland

2015 SVA Summer Residency, 1-month residency, New York City, USA


Solo and Duo Exhibitions

2016 “Keeping The Trace”, KulttuuriKauppila Art Center, Finland (together with Murat Yildiz)

2016 “Interval”, Gallery Zilberman, Project Space, Istanbul,Turkey

2015 “Cocoon”, Gallery-5, Istanbul, Turkey

2014 “Silent Flow”, Domaine de Forges, France

2013 “Window Seat”, Gallery Artist Cukurcuma, Istanbul, Turkey


Selected group shows, events, performances and projects

2018      "Momentum" performance, in collaboration with Ying Liu.

St.Joost Mater Institute, Den Bosch, Netherlands

2018      "Meeting" installation as "2/10" of a part of a series of collaborative projects of

Master of Fine arts and Photography St. Joost, Den Bosch, Netherlands

2018      "What Do We Dance For?", one day exhibition/event at Gallery Nectar, Tbilisi, Georgia

2018      “Transition” video screening program, Eye Research Lab, Eye Museum,

Amsterdam, Netherlands

2018      "HAHcalendar" 2018 calendar, HAH members together with Sena Başöz, Lara Ogel,

Romina Meriç, Sevgi Aka, Uzay Kere, Beste Topuz, Onur Ceritoğlu. published by Art Unlimited

2018      “There is another possibility: about open space and artist collectives” Kasa Gallery,

Istanbul, Turkey, participated as HAH

2018      “Sketch State” Gallery 5, Istanbul, Turkey

2017      “Maybe, we will benefit from our neighbor's good fortune” curated by Işıl Eğrikavuk at

Halka Art Project, Istanbul, Turkey, participated  as HAH

2017      “HAHasks” recording performance as part of mçps recording studio created by Can Altay

and Saz Arkadaslari, produced by Amira Arzik at 5533, Istanbul, Turkey, participated as HAH

2017      “We Remember, after Joe bBrainard and Georges Perec” performance by Gizem Karakaş

together with HAH, at HAHmekan, Istanbul, Turkey

2017      “Vesile” HAH members together with Etem Sahin, Selim Birsel and  Lara Ogel at HAHmekan,

Istanbul, Turkey

2017      Performer in “Transcending the Senses”, performance by Dila Yumurtaci, “To Remember - To Forget” Self-service Art Performance Days, curated by Ayca Ceylan and Pinar Derin Gencer, at Palazzo Tibaldi,, Istanbul, Turkey

2017     Performer in “Transcending the Senses”, performance by Dila Yumurtaci, “How are you?”

             curated by Seyhan Musaoğlu and Simge Burhanoğlu, Mamut Art Project, Istanbul, Turkey

2016      “Collective Memory (the past and future is ours)”, curated by Anna Bauer and Benjamin

Lee Sperry, New York City & Glasgow

2016      Istanbul Rotary Art Competition Exhibition, curated by Başak Şenova, Elgiz Museum,   

Istanbul, Turkey

2015      Open Studio Exhibition, New York City, USA

2014     “Interception”, International Textile Artists Exhibition, Istanbul, Turkey

2011     “Traitor Wolf”, stop motion animation (in collaboration with Murat Yildiz)

2010 “A Tale”, stop motion animation


Workshops given

2018 "absolute rhythm, indefinite repetition" at AKV St. Joost Art Academy for the bachelor students (in collaboration with Nicola Kirkaldy) Den Bosch, Netherlands

2016 “Random Creation Project” at Ii Upper Secondary School as part of the International Art Course program (in collaboration with Murat Yildiz) Ii, Finland



2018 Artist books “Essay on time Flow”, self-publication

2018 Artist books “Words from 2016”, self-publication

2018 HAHcalendar, a 2018 calendar collaborating with 12 artists, Art Unlimited publication

2017 HAH “Vesile” exhibition catalogue, HAH publication



2017 Holland Scholarship

2015 Moon and Starts scholarship for SVA Summer Residency Program, New York City, USA from American Turkish Society

2007 Erasmus Scholarship



2016 Istanbul Rotary Art Competition Award, Jury: Ayşe Umur, Başak Şenova, Can Elgiz, Gülsün Karamustafa, Işın Önol, Özalp Birol and Şerif Kaynar

2012 Ifsak Short Film Festival, Best Animation Award

2010 Yildiz Short Film Festival, Digital Film Academy Award


Related Work Experience

2017 (ongoing) Organization of Rijksacademie Lecture Series, Club Solo, Netherlands

2018 (ongoing) Teaching yoga at AKV St. Joost, Netherlands

2018 Artist assistant, Keiko Sato, Club Solo, Netherlands