Subject Matter Art


Subject Matter in Conversation With: Shamma AlAmri, Marcela Uribe and Isobel Smith

February marks our second collaboration with the Royal College of Art, and for this year’s exhibition, Becoming, we decided to highlight three of the show’s young talents.

We’ve asked Shamma AlAmri, Marcela Uribe and Isobel Smith what is it like to be a young artist in London’s vibrant cultural scene and to give us some background into their own artistic practices.



Subject Matter: What challenges do you think young artists face today?
Shamma: It is evident that artists throughout time faced challenges and today is no different, though different times produce different kind of challenges. Also artists face different challenges based on where they come from, their cultural background, what their work is about amongst many other factors.
All those factors play a role in shaping the work they produce and the way it is received by an audience.
Nevertheless in my opinion the biggest challenge of today is for an artist is to have a voice and be able to be heard amongst the many other voices of in all the different types of media that are exploding with all kinds of information.
Another challenge that seems to be still evident is the “boxing” of artists based on their ethnicity and background. Although the world has undergone a globalised phenomena, the contemporary art scene still seems to be extremely western-influenced and projects an orientalist and ethnic outlook onto work from the east.



Shamma AlAmri| Traces of Time , (2012)



Subject Matter:What do you like about London’s art scene?
Marcela:As a South American female artist and architect, coming to London was an extremely positive experience because of the diversity and multidisciplinary creative connections I found here. The art world nowadays is already a very multidisciplinary area, but London is a place where these connections are happening everywhere and art can be merged with science, technology, design, architecture… and you can see this happening also in design and art practice studios, where they work from diverse professional collaborations and skills. I think it is the perfect place to create new unexpected connections. London is a very dynamic cultural environment, extremely stimulating for the art scene to grow, as there are multiple direct experiences such as exhibitions, fairs, collaborations and activities happening at the same time, keeping artists and critical thinking always up in the loop.



Marcela Uribe, Morbid landscapes #1 (2016)


Marcela Uribe, Gestures VO1, (2013-2014)



Subject Matter:How is the work that you produced for Becoming an extension of your current practice?
Isobel:At the RCA I have been considering the challenge of documenting performance art, wanting more than the ubiquitous photo ‘still’ or video documentation. I have been investigating how to maintain a commitment to the ephemeral nature of work made live and in the moment – while attempting to capture its essence in a more permanent manifestation.
Becoming Me (self portrait with pink blanket) marks the beginning of a practice that sits in inspirational conversation with my live work. I plan to explore this relationship further, currently by casting elements from my performances in bronze.



Isobel Smith, Becoming Me (Self Portrait with Pink Blanket), (2016)


Isobel Smith, Becoming Me (self portrait with pink blanket)


We hope you will join us at Becoming from the 22nd February to the 3rd March.
Dyson Building,
1 Hester Road,
London SW11 4AN.
Monday – Friday 2pm – 7pm
Saturday and Sunday 12pm – 5pm
And, if you can’t make it down there, you can view the collection at

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