On the opening of this brand-new column at Prisma Estudio, we are thrilled to introduce our first hosts: four women with diverse backgrounds and unique perspectives on art. In March, Em Vai, Esrin Ue, Sammi Carr, and Kate Boultbee joined our residency program. Below, you’ll find a compilation of the questions we asked them, providing insight into their artistry.

Can you describe ‘art’ in 3 words? 

Kate: personal / wild / exciting 

Sammi: spontaneous / playful / explorative 

Esrin: expression / reception / individuality 

Em: out of the box (that’s four words, I’m sorry)

Can you share your favorite memory from the residency?

Kate: My favorite thing is the environment; I really enjoy being in Prisma. 

Sammi: I’ve been here for two months now, and I think my favorite memory was that one day I was working at the studio and I was stressed, and there were people rehearsing for the jam session, so I decided to join them and ended up jamming with them for four hours straight. It really revived me and made me feel so comfortable. 

Esrin: In the beginning, I had kind of trouble landing in this new place, but then I talked with the people and felt really proud that I could communicate my needs. This is such a community thing; that’s how we all grow. 

Em: Working together with the other residents. The energy we have is so uplifting and encouraging. We get all the creative energy.

What is your creative process?

Kate: I’m still figuring out how it works. Sometimes I find a photo that I like, and it works as inspiration for me. Then, I put my thinking onto canvas. 

Sammi: It’s the three words I gave. I’m really into shapes and composition of color. Mentally, I think of the palette of colors that I use and also get inspired by life in general, like funny conversations I have with friends. It’s somehow organic. I do some writing and sketches, also from my memory bank. I get really freaked out if there are too many directions; I prefer to lay into the process and play. 

Esrin: I have synesthesia, so when I listen to music, for example, I can picture it somehow, and that also happens with people as well. So basically, I paint my synesthetic perception. I’m still trying to find my groove in a way. 

Em: Extremely chaotic. I don’t really have a starting point; I go left and right and then in circles, and something just comes out of it. It’s not very structured or organized. I work hard but unorganized.

What made the biggest impression in Lisbon?

Kate: The people in general; they are so friendly. Maybe it’s because I look like a tourist, but they are always so welcoming and happy. 

Esrin: I lived in Berlin in the past, and the energy was so heavy that I didn’t want to live in a city anymore. Then, I visited Lisbon last year, and I felt that the energy here is very light. You can feel that people are happy. 

Em: There is a very warm energy around; it’s a very lovable city.

What was the biggest difficulty you faced during your residency?

Kate: I think time pressure. I consider myself a slow worker with large-scale things I have to finish in a week now, but we’re going to figure it out. 

Sammi: Definitely my social anxiety. It somehow stresses me out that I make art that people can see and comment on. Also, I came into a really vibrant environment, and sometimes I’m too much in my head and myself, but I also wanted to be a part of the community, so I had to work with my anxiety as well. It’s always a massive step I need to make to actually be present and a part of something. 

Esrin: I would say it was the sounds. I get more resilient towards them, but Rua Benfermoso is so loud and sometimes it’s triggering for me. 

Em: I wanted to explore some new ways to make art, like 3D, and I needed materials that would be related to me from nature. But that was impossible. I wanted to use some wood, for example, but the trees that grow here are not a part of me.

Have you gained any new skills during your residency?

Sammi: Absolutely, my belief in my own potential. I feel like I can communicate my art with other people better now. Also, the feedback I got from people during the residency helped me through this process, and I really value it. I learned to really embrace feedback. 

Esrin: Not yet, but I think I will. Things are coming more together, and they make more sense to me, so that means it will make more sense to the outside as well. The reason why I make art is because I want to communicate something that I cannot put into words. 

Em: Endurance. I realized that if I have space and time, I can just work all day long.

What inspired you during your stay in Prisma?

Kate: Actually, in my first painting, I really wanted to portray how Lisbon feels for me. I merged some photos of things that fascinated me here. In fact, there are so many things happening around, and that keeps me inspired. When it’s sunny here, it’s unreal. 

Esrin: I feel like in Prisma what inspires me is the sense of community and being together. In the beginning, I was a bit scared of the community vibe this place has, but as more as I worked here, I realized that there were so many artistic things happening that it would be also fun to try other stuff as well. For example, there were some theater play rehearsals, and I caught myself considering if it would be nice to try acting. It’s getting more realistic when you see things happening in front of your eyes. 

Em: I would say the warm energy of the city.

The only way to experience their artistic ways is to visit their group exhibition that will take place in the space of Prisma Estudio, on the 28th of March. You can also find more information on their Instagram accounts:





You can find more information on the artists’ Instagram accounts :

Interview/Photography: Sofia Konstantinidou

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