Yasmin Davidson is a contemporary artist from Scotland and is based on the Isle of Berneray, Davidson works in the field of painting and drawing. Yasmin graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone University in 2013 and has since had solo and group exhibitions.  Vast travel experience has allowed Yasmin to immerse herself in different social environments and view everyday life from different perspectives. Yasmin’s work holds a strong narrative and is often portrayed through strong colour and expressive mark-making. Inspired by the people and landscape around her, Yasmin conveys her experiences and views through the medium of oil paint and mixed media.

Hi Yasmin! What emotions or reactions do you hope viewers experience when seeing your artwork?
I enjoy seeing how people react to my work. Living in such a cold and windy environment can sometimes bring challenges. I focus a lot on colour when I paint and use colour as an emotional connection. I often need to find my colour palette within the landscapes I look at. I try to pick out tones that may be underneath the image itself. For example, warm, vivid colours can depict the temperature of a landscape. This can make viewing much more exciting, and I will often exaggerate this by amplifying the colour even more. When people view my work, I want them to relate to the image and for my painting to ignite a memory or emotional connection they may have forgotten about.

What emotions or reactions do you hope viewers experience when seeing your artwork?When it comes to painting, anything goes! I think it’s important to give yourself time to explore different mediums because they all have strengths and weaknesses. It’s about finding your own strength within a medium. I explored ink, acrylic, and gouache in the past before settling on oil paint. I still use acrylic occasionally because I like the vivid colours; I often use both in one painting.

What do you do to keep motivated and interested in your work?
I stay motivated in my work by continuously exploring new landscapes and meeting new people. Travel influences my hand and mind. I feed this as much as possible. Living on such a remote and tiny island sometimes forces me to go out with it. It also pushes me to look deeper at my current surroundings and continuously look for new details. People and their connections to land interest me significantly. To tell a story through colour and imagery is a magical process; meeting locals is a great way to keep my interests perked. 

Are there any upcoming events or additional information you want the audience to know?
I have an exhibition at Taigh Chearsabhagh Arts Centre on North Uist, which is on show until the 26th of April. The exhibition is called Dùthchas: through the Artist’s Lens. My new body of paintings from the cinematic archive film ‘stills’ of the 1960s and 70s Berneray captured by Ann and Bill Scott has been a labour of love. The word Dùthchas roughly means ‘home’ and ‘place’ in Scottish Gaelic. Watching Dùthchas challenged my perception of home and what it means to have a deep connection to a place. I painted a series of fourteen stills from the 8mm films. I wanted to capture the film’s quality and light. In my works, I try to show light behind the image and the movement the film often displays. 

How did you arrive at the theme of your work?
I have always been a drifter in the sense that I find it challenging to plant my roots down somewhere. Due to Covid, I ended up staying in Berneray, which was not intentional. I like to think that Berneray chose me rather than vice versa. The subject matter for my art depends on my location. I love learning about different cultures and ways of life. It took many adventures for me to conclude my theme of people and narrative within landscapes. It is still a work in progress at times, but I think it’s healthy and much more enjoyable for a theme to be changeable.

See Jessica’s work at our first Open Call of the year, MulticulturAlba, running at Six Foot Gallery until Thursday 14th March 2023. You can also find her on Instagram @yasmin9499

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