ARTIST PROFILE: SAMI EL-DAHSHAN
The popular Guildford Arts Annual Summer Art Exhibition returns to the historic riverside Mill Studio, next to the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in the heart of the town this July. Throughout the week we will be chatting to featured artists whose work will be appearing at the exhibition. First up, we speak to Epsom based artist Sami El-Dahshan.
Can you describe your creative process?
Working from my studio in Epsom, I enjoy creating a range of fused glass art that is both distinctive and eye catching. Each piece goes through a complex process of firing and fusing the glass (often numerous times) transforming it into the dynamic and unique final result. Many of the pieces come with a handcrafted frame, structure or base using a variety of materials. I find inspiration from the delicate balance between colour, space and light. The dynamic colours and patterns often link to particular emotions, memories or events.
Where have you found inspiration in the last year?
The pandemic made many of us focus on the small things that we may have taken more for granted in the past and to connect more with our emotions.
Do you find your art works develop/evolve from your original intentions?
There are always variations within a series of pieces since the glass can flow and react with the heat differently on each occasion, leading to some great surprises on opening the kiln! I work in sympathy with the glass and the other materials I use, for example, the handmade sculptured metal stands for the glass rings are shaped to complement the piece as a whole.
Has the pandemic changed anything about your creative process?
The pandemic has definitely had an impact on my work. For example, a series was named Flight which expresses the feeling of freedom in taking to the sky. The pandemic caused people to be separated from families and loved ones and so I created a new series with the eagle returning home to reflect the longing we had to be back together again.
What is the best thing about able to exhibit live again?
Working away in my studio during the pandemic was a lonely process and I missed meeting up and chatting with other artists and all the support and inspiration that this brings. Making something beautiful or intriguing is a wonderful process but the main purpose is to get it out there for others to enjoy.
Find out more about Sami El-Dahshan at www.echoglassstudio.co.uk
What? Guildford Arts Summer Exhibition
Where? The Mill Studio, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre
When? 10 – 22 July 2021 / Mon-Sat 10am – 4pm
Admission to Guildford Arts Summer Exhibition is free, but Covid-care procedures require a ticket, which is available in advance or on-line at the door from www.yvonne-arnaud.co.uk