Dynamic, benevolent, rational, independent, graceful, unconventional, exuberant, unique, tranquil – that’s how a 17 years old artist Mikaela Tsarukyan, who had her first pop-up photo exhibition called ‘Shades of London’ at the Royal Academy Of Arts the other day, sees her London. My friend & digital guru Cecile and I stopped on the opening night organised by a private art dealer Rory Howard for an art chat and a glass of champagne. Born in Russia and having lived in Kazakhstan, and then London for the past 7 years, started exploring her creative side as early as when she was 5 years old, and then immersed herself in photo art in Italy, UK and Peru. She also volunteered at the Saatchi Gallery in London and worked at the main Roberto Cavalli in Florence, getting great insights and learning from the best. Mikaela’s ‘Shades Of London’ collection depicts the city’s life around Portobello and Holland park. The inspiration for this photo series came from Mikaela’s seeing ‘London’s different atmospheres <…> and trying to combine urban and natural scenery to create a more included view on London itself’. Not only the photographs have aesthetic value, they also help Mikaela make her contribution to improving life of other people – by donating all the money from the collection sale to ‘Erkin‘ charity foundation in Kazakhstan that the artist have been supporting for a few years now. Having been volunteering at ‘Erkin’ charity for the past 3 summers, Mikaela has developed very close relationships with the charity and the people it supports and hence the good cause for the photo exhibition. Mikaela became aware of the hardships that many children, even of her own age, were facing. She is determined to involve herself in any way she can to improve the quality of life of Kazakh children from impoverished backgrounds, with mental and physical disabilities.
Most of the photographs have been sold however and the remaining pieces can be purchased directly from the artist. Luckily, Mikaela plans to continue exploring her artistic side and there might be more exhibitions coming up later in the year. Stay tuned!
P.S. Photo credit: the amazing William Man.