LOCKDOWN SERIES

During these turbulent, unsettling times, we want to share a glimmer of beauty to break up the fear and anxiety. Each week we will be highlighting new artworks from emerging artists and share their thoughts and inspirations during this time. This week we are showcasing the work of Photographer, Yasmin Centeno.

ONLINE EXHIBITION

'Nonchalant' by Yasmin Centeno

2020
12in x 10in
Giclée Print on Hahnemüle Fine Art Pearl Paper

"I can see this person smiling at me through my viewfinder, but I can't see this from the photo. It is a story I like to tell people, ‘cause he knew he was being observed, and if I saw him again, I know I would probably recognise him. But as the audience, you will probably not recognise the subject even if he was stood next to you looking at this photograph."

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'Layer Cake' by Yasmin Centeno

2020
12in x 8in
Giclée Print on Hahnemüle Fine Art Pearl Paper

"I don't actually own the camera this photo was taken with; I was on a taster experience with Leica. I was trying to learn to use the manual focus on the camera, and amazingly got this image from focusing on the bus driver at the back. Taken on Oxford Street, it's a stark contrast to the isolation we are now forced to live in."

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'Proportion' by Yasmin Centeno

2020
12in x 10in
Giclée Print on Hahnemüle Fine Art Pearl Paper

"I took this photo as I thought it was a contrast to see a woman alone, looking small against a large building that was so intimidating. The light was low, creating shadows and streaks of light from the westerly buildings."

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'The Chase' by Yasmin Centeno

2020
12in x 8in
Giclée Print on Hahnemüle Fine Art Pearl Paper

"It brings me back to a time when things were simple. I think it doesn't need much explaining that this photo shows the innocence of children playing."

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'Sharp Edges' by Yasmin Centeno

2020
12in x 8in
Giclée Print on Hahnemüle Fine Art Pearl Paper

"I like the contrast of the bubbles and the angular buildings behind them, and the seriousness of the people behind them. It was taken within seconds of ‘The Chase’ but it shows a completely different emotion of city living."

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'Reflections' by Yasmin Centeno

2019
12in x 8in
Giclée Print on Hahnemüle Fine Art Pearl Paper

"I was walking around Liverpool Street to find a friend and found a perfectly still pond outside Spitalfields market. I liked how the world is going around the woman, whilst she is on the phone absorbed in her own world."

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INTERVIEW

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

I am British but was raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I call London home. I grew up half in Portsmouth half in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. I am currently isolating in London with a friend.

WHAT IS YOUR ARTISTIC BACKGROUND?

I didn’t study art. I am a self-taught photographer but I am considering taking a course.

WHAT IS/ARE YOUR FAVOURITE MEDIUMS?

The work I am exhibiting are all digital prints, but I am challenging myself to only take film photographs during isolation. I would love to start working on film medium format.

WHO/WHAT WOULD YOU SAY YOUR KEY INFLUENCES/INSPIRATIONS ARE?

Alan Schaller. Not only is he an amazing photographer, I have met him in person and he just has the most interesting stories and is extremely humble of his abilities.

DO YOU HAVE ANY MUSICAL INFLUENCES THAT INSPIRE YOUR WORK? OR ANY PARTICULAR ARTISTS/SONGS YOU LIKE TO LISTEN TO WHILE WORKING?

I love The National, but I have a very eclectic taste in music. I go through my loved songs on Spotify, which ranges from Dmitri Shostakovich’s String Quartet No 8 in C Minor to Snapshot by Roni Size. When it comes to editing, editing I normally have to put on something light-hearted like Karl Pilkington or Joe Rogan. I also put on bouldering or cooking YouTube videos as background noise as I edit. I just need to be focused and listening to someone talk dribble for 3 hours helps me focus on the photo and not the content.

WE'RE GOING THROUGH A PRETTY UNSETTLING TIME RIGHT NOW, HOW ARE YOU DOING?

I am fine. To be honest, 2020 started off horribly. I had little photography jobs; I was very uninterested in actually taking photos. I currently have no full-time work and am looking for one now which is hard, and my family are half in the UK, some in Malaysia and I have an uncle in China who I am quite worried about. The 1998 recession in South East Asia left most of my family out of work for more than 2 years, I am expecting this to happen again and its scary to know my friends and family don’t have the same social security that we have in the UK.

Check out this playlist by Yasmin to hear what she's listening to right now.

I’m doing good! I’ve had a couple down days and dealing with PMS during this whole thing has been an interesting experience to say the least. I was away from January, and was meant to come home April 30th but, obviously, had to come home earlier. That was weird as I had to be isolated in my room for 2 weeks so as not to put my family at risk, I had some rough days during that. I’ve been working on something every day, and every now and then I come up with something that I feel proud of enough to show people. I think it’s important to keep your brain active and creative right now, not just for artists but for everyone, it stops you going completely mad.

HOW IS THE LOCKDOWN AFFECTING YOU CREATIVELY?

I am only taking 35mm film photographs at the moment because I am trying to preserve my DSLR’s shutter count for paid work (the boring answer) the fun answer is that I am trying something new.

WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH WITH THIS TIME?

I am trying to get fit. I want to be able to run half a marathon distance-wise at the end of quarantine.

AND DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR STAYING CREATIVE DURING QUARANTINE?

I found going for a jog is super helpful in the mornings and trying to do some exercise daily is good. I am not a health nut but being active helps me when I am depressed. Cooking a square meal every day has helped as well. And if I am not taking a photo, I am trying to draw still life to improve my composition (which is a bit everywhere when I am drawing).

To see more of Yasmin's work, visit her artist's page or check out our online shop

SHOP

'Proportion'
by Yasmin Centeno

£117

'Nonchalant'
by Yasmin Centeno

£117

'Layer Cake'
by Yasmin Centeno

£117

'Reflections'
by Yasmin Centeno

£117

See next
exhibition

See previous
exhibition

See next
exhibition

See previous
exhibition