Gifted artist Yanny takes sat­is­fac­tion from her life

Bray People - - Bray People - Mary FOG­A­RTY

YANNY PETERS’ par­ents em­i­grated to Ire­land from Ger­many in the ‘50s. They raised their chil­dren in their home at the foot of the Wick­low Moun­tains, by the stables at Kil­lea­ger, En­niskerry.

The breath­tak­ing scenery sur­round­ing her idyl­lic home in­spired Yanny, who is now a full-time artist, paint­ing and draw­ing mead­ows and grass­lands.

Yanny and her hus­band Tony Kerns now live on the fam­ily site, along­side her mother Wilma, who her­self worked with ce­ram­ics through­out the Wick­low artist’s child­hood. Her dad Gun­ther sadly passed away in 1998. He was an en­gi­neer, whom Yanny said nur­tured her ‘prac­ti­cal side’ and even helped her to build a stu­dio at home.

The artis­tic En­niskerry house­hold, how­ever, now also in­cludes Tony, who is a pho­tog­ra­pher and takes pic­tures of tra­di­tional Ir­ish mu­si­cians.

‘I was very much en­cour­aged when it emerged that I was creative and loved art,’ she said. ‘My mum even taught art at St. Pa­trick’s in Grey­stones when I was there.’

She went on to secondary school in Wes­ley fol­lowed by Alexan­dra and then be­gan to study graph­ics at the Col­lege of Mar­ket­ing and De­sign.

From there, Yanny went to Switzer­land where she worked back­stage in the­atre be­fore re­turn­ing to a sign-writ­ing ap­pren­tice­ship with renowned artist Michael Gem­mell, with whom she now shares stu­dio space at Glen­dar­rag in Newtownmountkennedy.

Eight other artists work there and Yanny en­joys the com­pan­ion­ship, par­tic­u­larly that of other artists who have to work very hard through­out the day but can stop and take breaks to­gether.

Af­ter re­turn­ing from Lon­don, where she worked for 10 years, she worked in ‘Model World’, once a fix­ture in the New­town area, fol­lowed by a three-year pe­riod of work­ing at the Sig­nal Arts Cen­tre. ‘That was a real learn­ing curve,’ she said. ‘Work­ing in the gallery was in­ter­est­ing and we did the mu­rals at the Carlisle Grounds Wall that can be seen from the Dart.’

All that time, Yanny has been study­ing plants through draw­ing and paint­ing. She has dealt with themes from trees and their fruits, peat­land plants, to mead­ows and grass­land plants.

She rarely works from pho­to­graphs but sits out­side and sketches her botan­i­cal sub­jects, pre­fer­ring to cap­ture the move­ment of the fo­liage and the en­vi­ron­ment around the plants.

One of the most in­ter­est­ing as­pects of her forth­com­ing ex­hibi- tion in the Bridgewater, the cul­mi­na­tion of two years of work, is her own unique ap­pli­ca­tion of the rare Verre Églomisé tech­nique, in which paint and gold leaf are ap­plied to the back of clear glass.

The art has its ori­gins in cen­tral Europe of the Mid­dle Ages and Yanny learned about it through her work as a sign writer in the 1980s.

She also works in oil and wa­ter­colour, has ex­pe­ri­ence in an­tique restora­tion and does Christ­mas cards when the harsh win­ter cli­mate sends her in­doors to work.

A mem­ber of the En­niskerry Hill Walk­ing As­so­ci­a­tion, Yanny loves to get out­doors and walk when­ever time al­lows, or else do the gar- den with her mum. She loved horses, hav­ing grown up near a stables, but no longer has the time to com­mit to the hobby.

Art is her great pas­sion and, even in her spare time, she likes to study tech­niques and read about art his­tory.

‘There is just about a liv­ing in it,’ she said of the in­come to be gen­er­ated by a hard-work­ing artist. ‘But the stress of be­ing on a low in­come is out­weighed by the sat­is­fac­tion of see­ing your work de­velop.’

She said that to build up a ca­reer in the art world can be slow and that one has to be adapt­able and, at times, fru­gal. Yanny, for ex­am­ple, does her own fram­ing in her home stu­dio, and has a va­ri­ety of skills such as the an­tique restora­tion and sign writ­ing on which she can rely as well as paint­ing and draw­ing. Sim­i­larly, she would have an in­ter­est in do­ing book il­lus­tra­tion and al­ready de­signs greet­ing cards.

‘It’s a long strug­gle for an artist, but I have im­mense job sat­is­fac­tion and I’m in it for the long haul - my hus­band says I’m his pen­sion plan so I’d bet­ter get fa­mous!’ She joked.

Field Work, and ex­hi­bi­tion of paint­ings and draw­ings by Yanny, will be at the River­side Gallery, Bridgewater Cen­tre, Ark­low, from Oc­to­ber 30 to Novem­ber 2 and from Novem­ber 6 to Novem­ber 9.

Grow­ing up sur­rounded by the breath­tak­ing Wick­low scenery helped in­spire Yanny in her work.

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