Interview with Yasmin Falahat

by Valentina Orrù

Yasmin Falahat is a multi-disciplinary artist and ceramicist based in London. Moving between design and visual art, her practice explores themes of cultural identity and community through food and personal stories. Yasmin's work often draws from her own cultural heritage sharing  both intimate and relatable narratives. Her signature pomegranate and fig ceramics are unique handmade pieces whose design interweaves with their everyday use. 

Yasmin has recently been commissioned by SPACE to design With these hands, the billboard currently on display at SPACE Ilford, London. 

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15/07/2021

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You have recently been commissioned by SPACE to make a billboard piece, With these hands, which has just gone on display outside their gallery in Ilford, London. The work responds to the theme of “care” and you have involved different people in the making of it. Could you talk more about the process you followed for this project?

The first thing that I thought of with the theme of ‘care’ and that represents the local community of Ilford was the idea of sharing food. I asked local friends and family if there’s fruit/veg that has a special meaning to them - maybe reminding them of a certain time or a special person. I then collected these stories and made ceramic pieces of the chosen fruits. I wanted the poster to look like different people sharing and passing food to one another and the viewer, while also fitting around each other. So I photographed local friends and family holding the pieces and then photoshopped them together.

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I’m glad the joy and playfulness come across! I wanted it to feel familiar, warm and joyful - and part of the fun I realised comes from people assuming they’re real fruits then taking a closer look and noticing they’re all ceramics. After over a year of lockdowns and hands being in gloves, touch becoming ‘taboo’ and the hesitance of sharing things like food, I wanted the work to be a symbol of joy and care and of things that actually come naturally to us that we’ve had to suppress during the pandemic. Even though we all still need to be very careful in our everyday lives while covid is still around, I hope this artwork gives a bit of hopefulness and happiness.

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I’ll be doing some hand-weaving workshops with SPACE and EDS (Empowering Deaf Society) in August which I’m excited about! I’m also taking part in Bow Arts Summer Makers’ Market at my studio on Saturday 17th July - it’ll be nice to meet customers in person again instead of selling online all the time. I would like to experiment and try out some new pieces, as well as do ceramics workshops at some point but I’ll see what happens!

Follow Yasmin Falahat on Instagram here.

www.yasminfalahat.com