Our new look series of five things about Guernsey continues with artist Yasmin Mariess who not so long ago 'came back home to breed' - as her mother predicted - to the island she loves and that feeds her imagination...
Yasmin is best known locally as a photographer, having photographed many of the island's weddings, families, new borns, dogs and fairies. When she's not taking photos, or dressed up as the fairy queen you can find her in her shed, playing with her new passion, clay.
Pictured: Yasmin Mariess in her studio.
1. Great for kids
I’m going to start off by saying I love Guernsey life. I spent years abroad, in my early 20’s, but as my lovely mum says ‘Well dear, we all come home to breed!’.
Having my four children here, we had beaches and plenty to do, you just got creative. We would make up a book at the beginning of the summer holidays with pages of things to do: things that were free; things to do on a rainy day; things that cost money; things to make; things to do on sunny days... We never got to tick off all the list by the end of the holidays! It’s a privilege to be raised in such a safe environment. Taking the boat to Herm is an integral part of a childhood in Guernsey.
Pictured: Yasmin the Fairy Queen.
2. Small is beautiful.
Not having to commute to work is a big bonus, as anyone who has had to lose a huge chunk of their day will tell you!
My walk to work must be one of the shortest on the island, as I go from my kitchen door to work in the photographic studio in the barn alongside the house, less than a minute walk! Otherwise, I can turn left instead of right, and be in the garden shed, where I can get covered in clay as I work on my latest sculpture.
Pictured: Boris, a small beautiful thing, in the big beautiful sea.
3. Art and culture.
I am a passionate supporter of the arts in Guernsey. We have a rich heritage, including the gem that is Victor Hugo’s works and house. I enjoy making octopus sculptures inspired by ‘Toilers of the Sea’. I adore ‘Les Miserables’ and never miss an opportunity to see it, I’m especially proud of GADOC’s performance, what amazing local talent, what a coup!
Guernsey inspires my art, and I’m currently working on a Guernsey/Jersey chess set. There is great interest in it, and the pieces are a lot of fun.
Pictured: Some pieces from the Guernsey vs Jersey chess set.
The new exciting idea of a world class art centre is something I’d be very keen to see, I hope they can as they can find a small spot for me! It isn’t a huge investment for the States, with the monies invested recovered within a year. It’s a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned. We also have wonderful theatre groups, eisteddfods, shows, museums, forts, dolmans and castles. Our music scene is thriving, there are lots of open mics for unplugged music (Golden Lion first Tuesday of every month), Open mics for poets, and ‘drink and draw’ for those who like to scribble. Iris and Dora for pottery painting and learning all sorts of crafts. I could go on and on with things to do on the art scene, and never will understand when people say there is ‘nothing to do’ in Guernsey. I like that some of our best pleasures are the small ones, like the North show, to see what Mr Le Flem has done with his unusual vegetables.
4. Family and friends.
Pictured: My wonderful, talented, funny kids.
I know I am one of the lucky ones, I still have all four children on the island, with the youngest still at home. I know this season of life can change at any time. Currently we share our Sunday lunch table with grandparents, children and their partners it’s a busy time of life, love and laughter. I don’t take it for granted and I am grateful for all I have.
5. It’s a dog’s life. (But please pick up the poop!)
Pictured: Yasmin's corgi trio Rosie, Bertie and Boris.
Well, it is in our house anyway!
We have three dogs, two cardigan corgis, and one wannabe corgi! "Prince Albert Singen Foxtrot","Rosie Thunderpants" and "Boris the Beautiful". Aka; Rosie, Bertie and Boris. I love taking these guys out for walks, and taking them to friends in Alderney for holidays whenever we can. I love to sculpt dogs, and have a proud Rosie currently waiting for her final firing.
Local restaurants that welcome well behaved dogs are a delight. Going to Octopus with its fab views after a cliff walk is one of life’s’ great pleasures, walk the dogs, sit outdoors overlooking the bay, with tired hounds at my feet. Well, it doesn’t get much better than that!
To find out more about Yasmin's photography go to her website or find out more about her crafted work on Facebook (below).
Pictured above: Some of Yasmin's later clay work.
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