About Yasemen Hussein
Some very diverse elements go into the creative mix at Yasemen Hussein’s studio.
There’s a mountain of electrical cable, a shelf full of 1970s copper vases retrieved from the windows of local charity shops, some heavy duty welding equipment and… a concrete mixer. “I’m inspired by mythology, the Italian renaissance and poetry,” she says. “Basically – beauty. And that could be Dolly Parton or Aubrey Beardsley.”
Her work is as exuberant and fantastical as it is organic, and she works at any scale – from making intricate objects for a Tim Walker set, to creating vast and dramatic sculptures for atrium spaces.
Hussein studied glass work in Illinois, learned “the tricks of the trade of concrete” in California and now sculpts the most intricate copper pieces imaginable in her converted stable house in south London.
Her metal feathers juxtapose elegance and lightness with the heft of their source material and are commissioned to act as light fittings, or interior centrepieces of varying sizes. “But nothing is ever the same twice and because of the way I work, every piece is a total original.”
Commissions include a series of elaborate bespoke copper wigs for the V&A’s ‘Opera: Passion, Power and Politics’ exhibition, giant entwined feathers for the André Fu-designed cocktail bar at the Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi, and a highly intricate permanent lobby installation for Clarges Mayfair, central London’s most exclusive and luxurious real estate project to date.
Hussein has also created dramatic front window pieces for Joseph, collaborated on headwear for Philip Treacy and created stagewear for Katy Perry and Will.I.am as well as fluid, windswept-looking metal “hairpieces” for Toni & Guy.
Mark C. O’Flaherty
A collection of copper and steel sculptures inspired by historical, cultural and mythological hairstyles Yasemen has been attracted to. Rather than choose a specific style to copy, each piece is an amalgamation of elements from several sources to create a unique piece.
Yasemen has had three solo shows and taken part in many group exhibitions but the highlights of her career so far have been her work in the V&A exhibition ‘Passion, Power & Politics’ and a piece in UAL-London College of Fashion in a show called ‘Head On’.
Yasemen was asked to exhibit work in the windows of The Mill, a visual effects company in London’s Great Marlborough Street and took this as an opportunity to make a new collection of lighting. She has also been exploring copper candelabra’s as dramatic table centre pieces on any scale.
Yasemen has also had some training with a concrete casting specialist in America and has fabricated many concrete tabletops, each one unique, as once cast, the mold cannot be reused.
FASHION & MERCHANDISING
Stepping into the world of fashion can be a heady experience, Yasemen has made wearable pieces for fashion shoots, award ceremonies, tv appearance and world tours. She literally bends the metal onto the bodies of the client to ensure the piece will fit, considering if it’s a catwalk or dance routine, it’s all considered when designing and making.
Yasemen finds creating a piece that is site specific a creative challenge to revel in.
Making Aurora for Harewood House was especially satisfying as the location was the beautiful late 18th Century music room. The both piece and room harmonized together perfectly as the piece turned and reflected light onto the walls and memorized visitors.
From creating jewelry for the Spice Girls tour in 2019 to Britney Spears and Katy Perry wearing Swarovski encrusted pieces for a music video. From Will-i-am’s Gold plated shield to fashion catwalk shows, Yasemen’s these pieces have been center stage. She is always ware these creations have to be larger than life to make impact on a stage and still be practical, all goes into account in the process of creating.
“The materials and equipment look heavy and unwieldy and yet the pieces Yasemen makes are delicate, sublime creations”
Charlotte Bowater, Art Consultant
“Wondrous creations with subtlety and grace which are truly unique … a modern-day alchemist”
Simon Costin, Artist/Designer