An artist’s view: The inspirational effect of beautiful exhibition spaces, by Esther Yasmin

     I am a visual artist of international origin based in Cambridge, England. Through my paintings, drawings, graphic designs and illustrations I have explored a variety of different subjects, whether through observation or from my imagination. Though my main love when it comes to creating art is to generate intricate scenarios that are symbolic and meaningful; diving into the depths of complex ideas and simplifying them into a unified piece. These types of paintings or drawings often tend to have a metaphysical or spiritual element to them and it is indeed only when I express that side of myself that I truly feel satisfied with my work. 

     I have participated in and hosted a variety of art shows, fairs and exhibitions in various venues within Mexico City in Mexico, Paramaribo in Suriname and London and Cambridge in England. Though it was only in September 2015, the year after having decided to settle in Cambridge, that I made the decision to properly dedicate myself to my art practice. At this time I was advised to join Cambridge Open Studios and to participate in their annual July Open Studios event. Through doing this I started becoming acquainted with Cambridge’s very active and somewhat-underground local art scene and ever since, I have been participating in art projects, events and exhibitions in Cambridge on a regular basis.  I’ve done this independently as well as in collaboration with other artists and organisations including Cambridge Creative Network (for Creative Reactions: Pint of Science), Artbnb, Mill Road Winter Fair and most recently, Tindalls (giving workshops). I have found the artistic community of Cambridge to be very supportive and so far have not had trouble finding a venue to exhibit my artwork. One of my favourite exhibition venues has been with Artbnb, a company that offers holiday accommodations that have been turned into live-in galleries. I admire the inventiveness behind the idea of enabling travellers coming into Cambridge to have immediate access to the local art scene in this manner, and I also feel comforted by how it supports us artists who are still trying to gain more exposure. 

     I always try to find a way to develop my techniques in conjunction with furthering my ability to express myself as an artist. For this, I try to make sure that I chose subjects that I can connect with. In my most recent exhibition, in collaboration with artists Sarah Lucy Lee and Ruth Hawkins under the name AmalgamART, I showcased a new series of cloudscapes and artworks that explore our inner world. The title of this exhibition was ‘AmalgamART @ Maker’s Gallery’ and it took place at the Maker’s Gallery in Cambridge from the 22nd till the end of March.

     From all the times that I have exhibited in England, this was the first time that I exhibited in a proper gallery space. The Maker’s Gallery, run by a charming and kind lady called Felicity Jones, is a lovely little gem that receives a lot of natural sunlight. It consists of two parts, one part is a workshop that offers framing services and the other part is a little gallery that rents it’s wall space out to selected artists. Through the help of the amount of natural light and the way that the walls are laid out, our artworks were presented beautifully and the overall look was very professional and aesthetically pleasing. Of course, the artworks themselves were also quite impressive. The collection was a vibrant celebration of colour, form, thought and feeling consisting of a range of abstract paintings created from the imagination as well as observational paintings exploring real-life subjects.

So far, this exhibition was the first one that I truly felt I had poured all of my heart into since completing my university degree in design at Goldsmiths, University of London in 2012. This feeling was confirmed by how well the exhibition was received by visitors at our private view. There was a buzzing atmosphere during this evening that started minutes before the opening at 5:30 pm, when people already began walking through the doors and filling up the place within the first half hour. The buzzing atmosphere remained consistent throughout the night and we received a lot of positive feedback from many friendly faces. The exhibition concluded with a ‘meet the artists’ event on the last Saturday of March. I felt satisfied with the work I had done and the footfall we had received and now feel inspired to continue making more artworks and finding beautiful venues to exhibit these.

Energetic Memory by Esther Yasmin

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