Robina Yasmin

A Fine Line Up by Robina Yasmin
On The Mara by Robina Yasmin
Close Comforts by Robina Yasmin
Carefree by Robina Yasmin
Among Friends by Robina Yasmin
With a impressive habit of creating the very likeness of herds of giraffes and zebras (as well as the occasional beach scene lest we forget), acclaimed contemporary animal fine artist, Robina Yasmin is on something of a roll at the moment; as her illuminating and original works continue to capture the imagination of an increasing number of followers. Furnishing her animal-tastic subject matters in great swathes of new light, Yasmin endeavours to seek out and extract the less familiar perspectives from what some might see as a quasi-traditional muse (not us though).

What Yasmin does with searing aplomb is to guide the eye of the viewer into previously overlooked corners and un-starred (naturally dark) crevices of a canvas, where they’ll immediately be greeted by this alternative blast of candescent new light. Trust us on this, but there really is a freshness and hitherto un-seen crispness to the visual delivery of an otherwise conventional animal which is posed (and composed) on your typical Yasmin canvas. Seeing, as they say, is truly believing that new life can be breathed into tried and tested formulas in this exiting and innovatively illustrative case.

Drawing on her innate sense of exploration Yasmin manipulates her muses in a way which critic may suggest renders them nothing more than a vehicle to describe the artist’s seeming obsession with light. But this would be a travesty, for it’s this critical introduction and exposure to light sources which cascade and build and make Yasmin’s images what they are. Take for example the falling of shadows across a zebra’s body or giraffe’s head, balanced by areas of contrast which is bored out with feather-like brush strokes, whispering across the surface.

What’s of paramount importance in Yasmin’s graphic world is compositional appeal and belonging. Relative shapes, curves and lines all play exacting and clearly defined roles to achieve this visual and emotional harmoniousness. To Yasmin’s mind, she utilises the beauty and vibrancy of her oils to determines both this immediate and lingering allure tantamount to the ‘magical feeling of freedom one gets whilst on holiday'. The artist’s words, not ours.

Having racked up some serious mileage whilst furthering her own creative education in the late 1980s to the early 1990s (taking in the artistically academic sights consistent with Cumbria College of Art, Birmingham Institute of Art and Design and finally, Glasgow School of Art), Yasmin graduated in 1991 from the latter, prestigious Scottish School of Art; before plotting her next coordinates for south by south east and landing in south London, where she wasted no time whatsoever in establishing a studio space to work out of. From this base, Yasmin built a reputation for being a painter of subjects that equally enthral and uplift, ultimately bringing joy to the viewer and harvesting this glowing sense of vivaciousness and newness which we touched on above.

An interest in African wildlife in particular stemmed from her family who, we learn, hail from Kenya, whilst Yasmin’s fondness for art sprouted its first buds as a child when she’d turn the family home upside down to find anything and everything she could muster to engineer her original works of art. Random fabrics, beads, leaves and papers eventually gave way to the more methodical and proven means of material warfare, oil, when at the grand old age of seven she was gifted a set of paints by a family member. Probably looking to preserve any other sporadically-acquired family artefacts which Yasmin may or may not have cast a furtive glance towards. Of course then, there was no looking back.

Questioning the whole zebras and giraffes thing, Yasmin states that she’d always been drawn (if you excuse the pun) to them, citing the clearly defined markings on both creatures being central to her early years interest, and again suggest the manner in which the light interacts with their form and function adding fuel to the imaginative fire. Yasmin also explains that she loves watching the animals mingle and to observe their characteristics and herding mentality and sees regular and telling parallels with us humans in certain quarters; citing behavioural patterns expressed around new borns specifically. For the most part it’s these natural, un-forced connections and stolen moments which provide the starting point to one of Yasmin’s compositions, which it’s fair to wager she’s got photographic reference to somewhere anyway. And that’s because Yasmin has a stash of some thousands of photos of her preferred subject matter in a variety of poses and states of work, rest and play, captured in zoos and safari and wildlife parks far and wide.

View All Art Works By Robina Yasmin