Detail of The Sinistry's work in progress

The Confessions Questionnaire

Your name/nickname.

Izzet: Izzet.

Bert: Bert Gilbert.

Current mood in one word.

Izzet: Trapped.

Bert: Hopeful.

What is your favourite dish?

Izzet: Karnıyarık, a Turkish aubergine dish with minced meat.

Bert: Aji de Gallina – a Peruvian chicken dish I was taught by a Peruvian granny.

Tea or coffee?

Izzet: One cup of coffee mornings, then tea throughout the day.

Bert: Coffee via filter in the morning with cinnamon, cardamom and double cream. Herbal teas throughout the day.

Favourite place you’ve travelled to and why?

Izzet: Tokyo.

Bert: Amazonian Jungle.

Favourite movie?

Izzet: Hard to pick, but recently I really enjoyed a Nan Goldin documentary, “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” by Laura Poitras.

Bert: Old – True Romance, new – Triangle of Sadness and Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon.

Favourite book or poem and why?

Izzet: Hard to pick again, but more recent The Accidental by Ali Smith.

Bert: The Hidden World by Professor Carl Ruch.

Your Life Motto or favourite quote?

Izzet: ‘Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes,’ by Carl Jung.

Bert: “I bleed between the lines” – my way of describing my practice.

“You may be entitled to compensation” – for any situation that is slightly inconvenient.

“I’m in the bush outside and I really love you,” from my friend Babak Ganjei’s poster range.

What or who inspires you the most in life?

Izzet: Yayoi Kusama, Carl Jung, Esther Perel.

Bert: My dear friend and pro-witch Kate Tomas.

Greg Stoker – for anti-imperial activism overviews.

Motaz Azaiza for direct news from Gaza.

Three unique things about where you live?

Izzet: People, food, galleries.

Bert: I live in Broadway market – it can be exhausting as so touristy now but it has great coffee (La Bouche and % arabica), and my favourite bartenders at Elliot’s for a perfect negroni, and lots of great places to eat.

A piece of advice you’d give to your younger self.

Izzet: ‘Don’t worry!’

Bert: Don’t be so hard on yourself and you are funnier and more beautiful than you think. Not everyone is going to like you don’t bother trying to appease them – you are marmite in human form.

How do you escape a creative block?

Izzet: Regenerative class at Lift, the gym I go to. Or ask my dreams for guidance.

Bert: Shift the focus; exercise, play, look at things upside down / from a different point of view, mess things up. Mostly when things are blocked there needs to be a risky action taken to move through it.

Do you have a favourite colour?

Izzet: I like combinations of colours more than a single colour and those combinations change all the time depending on my mood.

Bert: Multi-coloured.

Favourite art tool?

Izzet: Needle and thread.

Bert: 0.05 technical pens.

Is your studio messy or tidy?

Izzet: Both

Bert: BOTH

Why did you become an artist?

Izzet: Sometimes there are no reasons, it just is.

Bert: Although you can learn to be an artist, I believe it’s archetypal/ you and you either are or you aren’t. I have no choice which is a blessing on one hand but can also be a curse.

What is the most challenging or exciting thing about being an artist?

Izzet: To be constantly in connection with personal and collective unconscious which sometimes can be scary, yet exciting.

Bert: Challenging  – The gatekeeping, the lack of clear career trajectory, the existentialism that an art practice entails.

Exciting: working out how to make a new piece of work, researching and then completing it – there is a moment that lasts about 30 seconds where you realise you’ve made something from nothing / your imagination, that nobody asked you to but it’s made you laugh and gives you a sense of achievement- only fleeting but it makes up for a lot of the hardships endured.

Also, I love working in good collaboration for this reason as you get to share this joy/ the private joke with someone else.

Craziest artistic experiment you've tried.

Bert: A workshop in Athens with Diana J Torres exploring how to make the body into a human bongo with contact mics inserted internally.

Funniest criticism you’ve received.

Bert: From a gallerist who rejected me years ago and came back after I had been in a big show at Somerset House, he told me that when he met me before/ why he had previously ignored me was because I was “ bullish and too confident, and that now my work was relevant” – he was commenting on the piece I was showing that was an iteration of the work he had previously rejected – I asked him if he would call a man bullish… and told him that my work was based in the esoteric so relevancy was a moot point.

Describe your style in three words.

Izzet: Visceral, ritualistic, inviting.

Bert: Strong, playful, non casual.

Most memorable artistic achievement.

Izzet: Our Sinistry show ‘The Game of Life’ in 2021.

Bert: My recent piece The Vesica at Somerset House, a site-specific installation as part of The Horror Show.

Dream collaboration (with someone dead or alive)

Izzet: Bert Gilbert – living, Louise Bourgeois – dead.

Bert: Living- Alejandro Jodorowsky and Izzet Ers; Dead – Hilma AF Klint

If you could exhibit anywhere, where would it be?

Izzet: Tate

Bert: Tate, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, MOMA



1.Fables & Fairytales by N/a featuring Rosina [Denzil Kurtel Remix]

We met at a house party that I was djing at new years 2012 and this was one of the songs I was playing which both of us love and we used it as a soundtrack for the body part collection / the deconstructed liberation suits.

2. I Want It Darker by Leonard Cohen

Our favourite song from his last album which we had playing constantly while we made the Liberation suits in my studio from 2016-17.It reflects the mood of the work we created together, the darkness of the subtext that is embodied into the pieces.

3. First Six Months of Love by Michelle Gurevich

Again an album that we had on constant play whilst we made the suits. The black humoured but truthful lyrics, reflecting our manifesto and the conversations that led to its creation. Her commentary is witty and sharp and a perfect reflection of our humour together.

4. Flash of Light by Luca C & Brigante featuring Roisin Murphy [Solomun Mix]

Izzet introduced to me to one his favourites Roisin songs; it became a studio soundtrack staple.

5. November Morning (Brandenburgisches Staatorchester Version) by Stimming.

Found in a Solomun dj set, this classical masterpiece turned into a house remix is a reflection of the way we like to mix traditional techniques into new forms.

6. Narkose by Meute [Midas 104 Rework]
A great song that is tribal and ritualistic, both of us love bassy dark undertones, almost impossible not to dance too.

7. Let Me Be Your Princess by Kalabrese

In our practice we listen to a lot of music while we make and this is another classic, the whole band is very satirical and the beats are brilliant.

8. Continental Lover by Ost & Kjex

The first time we went to an after party together, we were dressed up in hats and wigs at 7am dancing to this whole album, the start of our practice!

9. Pass This On by The Knife

Another house party where I was djing, this song deals with secrets and revelations, which we explore in our practice.

10. Love Song by Marcus Worgull

A brilliant remake of a cure song, emotional, heart based and romantic .

In general we have shared music taste that functions as its own intuitive language, our love of music and dancing is how we met and continues to be an important factor in our practice. There is something primitive in connecting to a shared beat, it creates a coherence that we translate into work.