© 2022


CANDY FUMES

Deciphering Abstract Psychological Landscapes: With Elina Yumasheva

Artist ELINA YUMASHEVA / EY
Interview, Words MARYAM ARSHAD / MA

Materials MIXED MEDIA
Themes PSYCHOLOGICAL LANDSCAPES, ABSTRACTION
Location LONDON

03.08.22





Collapsing into psychological landscapes and emerging amongst layers of intimate eternal emotion is the essence of Elina Yumasheva’s practice. These abstract landscapes - subtly moulded - utilise science, study and language as visual tools. In opening another avenue and conversing, Yumasheva exposes her complex vivid vocabulary shaped by refined emotion. 

For Yumasheva, transitioning from environmental science to abstraction and art was a “continuation of the same journey”. The cornerstone of both remain the same, drawing attention toward social and environmental issues.

As part of visually translating deeper human responses, Yumasheva’s creative mechanisms centre on detachment. A kind that removes the mask of privacy to expose a raw landscape beneath. Each work is intuitive and layered, drawn from emotion to evoke emotion. We are in turn exposed to eternal psychological landscapes, to bask in Yumasheva’s monochrome journeys and spheres of communication. 

Just past close, Yumasheva participated in a joint exhibition “Ambient Anxiety” with Djuro Selec, detailing the collision between environmental helplessness and technological dependency. Here, Yumasheva traversed across liminal spaces which dissect the anthropogenic impact, the works unfolding and continually moving as though living and breathing. 





HOW DO I FEEL ABOUT BRINGING CHILDREN INTO THIS WORLD?





MA In working with abstraction, art and environmental science how does your work fade between and across areas?


EY To me it’s a continuation of the same journey. When I announced my transition to art publicly, many people thought that I decided to leave my successful corporate sustainability career behind, and they couldn’t be further away from the truth. It became very clear to me that I wanted to be in the worlds of sustainability and art at the same time. While I was hesitant about seriously going for it, as I was afraid to “lose” years of my successful career, I realised it is still part of the same journey – a journey of driving attention to social and environmental issues to make a difference, but by just adding a new avenue. I never left the subject of my interests – sustainability and purpose. I only expanded the means by adding another avenue – visual language.


MA What do “environmental issues” encompass for you?


EY
The easy way to answer this is by saying anything that impacts our physical being. But that won’t be true. Seeing how the physical and mental are interlinked, environmental issues certainly encompass psychological and emotional aspects of our existence.

While many would bucket environmental into this “green” category, to me, it’s just about our habitat. Therefore besides the obvious climate crisis, biodiversity loss, and plastic pollution, to name a few, the breadth of issues that could stem from here is endless – inequalities, human rights, environmental migration, mental health, and the list can go on.





GREEN VOID





MA Why are concepts of the eternal selected to be present in your work?


EY I’m a deeply spiritual person, and, I guess, this is something that is being translated in my works too. 


MA What do you think the possibilities are in reach of a psychological landscape?


EY A psychological landscape is a landscape that is built around the self. It’s a journey within. In my case, it’s a journey to my emotions and feelings evoked by certain events, thoughts. I think it’s a very different experience from potentially other art practices as it’s very exposing. It’s about opening up and sharing your raw, unmasked emotions – whether they’re ugly or beautiful, sad or joyful.





THE POINT OF NO RETURN





MA Emotionally expressing and deciphering. How do mechanisms of language, dialogue, study and the abstract operate within your thinking and creating? 


EY Importantly, the process of creating art contains an inherent message in itself. My visual vocabulary changes depending on what I’m capturing and the state I am. The way I apply paint or pigments, the speed of application, the process, the gestures. It’s a very intuitive, almost meditative process in which I’m fully focused on that particular feeling or a thought. Lights and colours, of course, also play a tremendous role in communicating them. Naturally gravitating towards a monochrome palette I feel that it can portray subtleties and show the fine details of a texture and materiality in a much more profound way. As I work with a very fine matter as emotions, the means to portray them have to be very fine too. 

Even when I talk (in a visual way) about complex subjects, I’m focusing on how these subjects make me feel. Yes, we all can talk about facts and figures but it remains a coded language that isn’t easily translated into the language of human emotions. Yet, I believe, the power and impact at least partially lie in the emotional sphere.

Art is a visual language that most of us can understand and relate to. It can evoke strong feelings and connect with an individual on a deeply personal level. Communicating those feelings and sharing those emotions with the viewers – making them feel what an artist feels is a profound way art drives attention and action to social and environmental challenges we face today. 





CANDY FUMES 2

Elina Yumasheva has always been painting and drawing since early childhood, but never considered being an artist until recently, making the decision to pursue art just two years ago. Encapsulating an emotional response to environmental and social issues, landscapes of abstraction and mixed media emerged.

ELINA YUMASHEVA / INSTAGRAM / WEBSITE. IMAGES COPYRIGHT © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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