She was born in İstanbul, and lived there, in Adapazarı, Karamürsel, London and Brighton until the primary school. After finishing Ankara College she graduated from METU in Sociology. For 20 years, she first worked as an ad writer and then as a creative director in national and international advertising agencies. In the last eight years of her professional life, she held the duty of agency presidency in Manajans/JWT. And as of 2009, she retired.
What she loves most is creativity/productivity. As she decided on getting retired, she also planned the following years of her life. A friend introduced her to Bozcaada. And she met her dream of a life in nature where people and productivity that she loves get combined, there.
She bought a house in Bozcaada and her enjoyable journeys began. Deniz Barlas, who held her first exhibition in İstanbul, in 2004, continued her productions in creative disciplines after her decision of moving to Bozcaada. Deniz Cafe, which unites a workshop, a cafe and a shop in itself, became the location where she designs the life she seeks.
What does Deniz Barlas do?
I design ceramics, pictures, silver jewellery and clothes. I either have them manufactured or manufacture them myself. I designed the life I dreamed of here with my own efforts. They say whatever you do before 7 to be happy are those that will make your life enjoyable. Before 7, I used to paint and play in the garden. It contains both socialising and internalising… I guess they call people like me ‘social introvert’… I love them both. This place became my ideal life.
What do you want to say about your latest art exhibition in Bozcaada Rengigul Sanat Galerisi?
I’m an outsider to this island. From my point of view, what I see in the island, what I feel, my past, everything came together and formed the pictures in this exhibition. I dropped into the island and pictured what I saw. I see the life humorously and live it lightly. I choose to see the funny sides of things. Also, it seems like I became hungry for colors; probably wearing black for years affected the appearence of many colors in this exhibition.
What does she want?
I dream of a workshop with productivity in each of its rooms. Each product comes into life in a different atelier. I would like a Noah’s Ark. A fun environment where everybody produces together would greatly appeal to me. I like to be together with productive people. Maybe someday, I can transform this cafe into a place where while someone cooks in a corner, another one produces ceramics in another, while someone designs and produces clothes yet in another.
Where does life flow?
I’m in the Island for 6-7 months; I also like to travel to different parts of the world. I go to İstanbul; I like to spend time with my family and my son. I go there both for manufacture and to nurture myself from the place. Different products are manufactured in winter and summer.