The Collective Tableau team had the absolute honour to sit down with the Syrian-Armenian Artist, Carolin Semerjian, and speak to her about her journey with art. Here's what we found out.
A fine arts graduate, with a Masters from the State Academy of Fine Arts of Armenia, a Gallery director, with a permanent exhibition at Artonspears in lebanon, and internships with the Late Wajih Nahlé , Late Jalal Khouri and Emmanuel Guiragossian, Carolin bring a new touch to the artistic world.
Carolin also has exhibited at various galleries and museums in Damascus as well as Beirut, from the Fateh Moudarres Atelier to the Musée Emmanuel Paul Guiragossian. This April, AGBU Exhibitions launched Carolin’s debut in Yerevan, “Same same but different”, at the AGBU Gallery Hall in the framework of our AGBU 113th anniversary event series.
“CarSem”, as she signs her works, is first of all a colorist. Whether in watercolor, pastel, acrylic or oil paint, she creates intense colorscapes that contrast fields of light and dark. Her abstracted landscapes take inspiration from nature, layering on membranes of paint that create both transparency and depth similar to how sunlight filters through the forest canopies. In the foreground, anxious strokes are carved into the canvas’ surface, but a second look reveals ironic protagonists: a mouse, a giraffe, a gorilla, a baby.
These playful characters populate an ominous scene, and one cannot help but think that the combination of absurdity, drama, and hope are somehow tied to the reality in present day Syria. Wherever her inspiration comes from, without a doubt we can say that Carolin’s works are a mirror into her own character, whose bright spirit and witty sense of humour are genuine, joyful, and above all, contagious.
We asked Carolin to tell us a little bit about her day to day with art, and here's what she had to say.
Q: How did you start making art?/Why do you make art?
A: I started drawing and going to art schools since i was a kid at the age of 6
Q: What inspires you?
A: Everything inspires me, but most of all is nature.
Q: What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
A: most important tool is obviously my brushes and oil paintings materials, and for the cant live without part, Coffee should be in the studio as long as I am working.
Q: Is there an element of art you enjoy working with most? Why?
A: watercolor is so relaxing to me, I do it from time to time after working on oil paintings that needs a lot of effort and physical work.
Q: How do you know when a work is finished?
A: I never know!
Q: Is there an artwork you are most proud of? Why?
A: Every period got its own individual love for your work, but for me, I still never did an artwork that satisfied me. If I have to say which artworks that I'm okay with is my new series of “ the Next Chapter “ the dark ones and how the light is coming through and under the dark colours.
Q: What are your go to methods for setting up a space that helps cultivate your work flow?
A: me going into my studio and forget about the world outside is just enough for me to have a productive day.
Q: After a long day of making masterpieces how do you re-center?
A: by making more masterpieces hahaha! jan
Q: When it comes to home decor, what’s your dream room / space look like?
A: Mdf boards all over, so I can just pin every sketch I make when an idea pops out.
Q: What advice would you give someone who is aspiring to get in touch with their artistic side?
A: Do whatever you feel, art comes in all different shapes and colours. Don't stop making art cause your sad, or depressed, believe me when you hold a brush you will feel as happy as u can be! Never stop and paint what you feel, cause that's true art.
There are no mistakes in art. Don't listen to anyone who says this is wrong or these lines and shapes are not right. There is like or unlike but never WRONG , cause their unlike may be your favourite part, you painted what you felt not him/her.
Remember to paint for yourself before your audience.
Thank you to Carolin for allowing us to have a sneak peak into her artistic life! Follow Carolin's journey at Facebook/carolinsemerjianart/ and spread the inspiration.