Like a diligent scientist, Yasmin Grass conducts rigorous research before embarking on a new painting. Every minute detail of her work is well thought out, from the checkered design of a floor, to the positioning of exotic birds on the canvas. In our latest spotlight, Yasmin discloses her appreciation of Asian art and her favourite book of the year.
Q: Hello Yasmin! Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
A: Following many years as a lecturer in a Bachelor of Visual Art & Design course, I now make paintings full time.
An Ode (oil on canvas)
Q: Who inspires you? What inspires your art?
A: Many artists inspire me. My research of the decorative arts, interest in historical textiles and objects inform my practice. Islamic, Indian and Asian compositional concerns intrigue me. I am a collector of all sorts of things, from eggshell porcelain Oriental teacups, to feathers and leaves. I’m a keen gardener and collector of unusual foliage plants. The mix of these things inspire me.
Q: Do you have a preferred medium?
A: Oil paint is my go-to medium. The lusciousness and luminosity are a pleasure to explore.
Dog Bowl (oil on canvas)
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I think of myself as being a decorative explorer on a domestic expedition investigating and viewing the house and garden as an extension of the self. My paintings are like collages and lightly follow the principles of illustrated natural history documents. Design, colour, pattern and negative spaces are of equal importance.
Q: Can you please describe your artistic and creative process i.e.: from lingering idea to putting it into practice?
A: My head is filled with images. My work is about cross referencing, arranging and considering elements from my surroundings. I’m literally constantly thinking about which objects and leaf forms to juxtapose next. I research, document, sort and edit and each painting usually starts with two key elements. Then the rest evolves in carefully considered layers.
Birdsong (oil on canvas)
Q: Where do you see your art practice taking you in the next five years?
A: Making paintings is what I do and who I am so I hope to continue.
Q: If you could recommend one artist, who would it be?
A: At the moment David Hockney as I have just returned from his fascinating huge exhibition at the NGV.
Chair Chat (oil on canvas)
Q: What is your favourite gallery?
A: AGSA as its so easy to access and has an ever evolving series of inspiring exhibitions so beautifully presented.
Q: Where can we find more of your work?
A: I’m delighted to have been invited to be part of three group exhibitions currently at Hill Smith Gallery Adelaide, West gallery Thebarton and Worth gallery, Kent Town. My website is www.yasmingrass.com and I’m on Instagram as Yasmin.Grass.
Chinoiserie bowl (oil on linen)
Q: What was your favourite book of 2016?
A: If you mean literary fiction it’s too hard to choose. I’m currently very much enjoying the insightfulness of David Hockney: Current, the catalogue that accompanies the NGV exhibition.