Mud Break is a clay workshop hosted by visual artist Esra Sakir in New Metropolis Nieuw-West. Esra is an artist and in crafting her artistic narrative, she reflects on the profound connection between humanity and the environment, and the urgency to redefine our relationship with existence in the face of the challenges posed by the Anthropocene. Join her and discover more about clay and how to create various sample sculptures. In this session, we will work together and exchange ideas, messages, values and we will explore how to translate them into tangible shapes. The workshop will last two hours and all material will be provided by us. Reserve a spot via the blue button on this page!

Location: New Metropolis Nieuw-West (Burgemeester Rendorpstraat 1, 1064 EL, Amsterdam).

The workshop will be multilingual: English, Dutch, Turkish, Italian & Polish!

Esra Sakir
Join us!

In this workshop we focus on our historical human-nature relation, iconographical inspirations by matriarchal traditions and female divine representations of Mesopotamia and Asia Minor as Kubaba, Cybele, Ishtar and Artemis of Ephesus.

The series of workshops hosted by New Metropolis Nieuw-West are designed to reconnect with the earth, experience one’s creativity and consciously recognise one’s origins and (re)discover the technique of modelling clay. The art of ceramics is one of the oldest and most primitive human activities. Its processing is very profound, liberating, and offers immediate activation. This is because the manipulation of the clay allows – due to its elasticity and plasticity – not only the learning of techniques, but also to regain one’s own bodily perception. To enter in more profound contact with our manual skills and to reclaim a capacity that is inherent in human nature and is functional to the processing of personal experiences. You cannot manipulate clay without creating, and thanks to the journey made with the artist, every shape created speaks of us.

The clay workshop becomes a work of sharing, as we learn from each other and give different points of views to the common topics. It all revolves around themes such as the relationship between human and nonhuman, an inclusive historical reading, human rights in general, and women’s empowerment. A creative action to reconnect with our most ancestral nature, to improve the dialogue with our primitive self. This helps – perhaps – as a reminder to create a personal and constructive responses to the environmental and humanitarian crises we are currently experiencing, thus changing our sensitivity to nature and the human condition.

More about the project

Clay, the art of shaping

The ‘Matter & Found Forms‘ workshop represented a moment to slow down the frenetic everyday life and spend a couple of hours between collective sharing, rapprochement with physical matter and viewing archaeological relics from which to draw inspiration. This, together with the artist and ceramic expert Esra Sakir.


The workshop is an experiential clay manipulation laboratory which, using artistic language, aims to give answers to these questions but also to stimulate and enhance the role of women in contemporary societies. The objects developed were the most varied: sculptures, bas-reliefs, everyday objects in the field of furniture and tableware, vases, containers, objects deeply linked to life and survival, decorative panels, small sculptures. Creating forms of art never turns out to be an experience as an end in itself, but it is a stimulus for new ideas and sensations. This starts from the individual, from their corporeality, which comes into contact with the material with which they elaborate a form. It is an encounter with a material based on the senses and which, precisely for this reason, can move deep affections and experiences and activate a process of continuous and vital transformation.

Read more here

About the artist

Esra Sakir is from Turkey and Italy. Born in Isparta and raised in Izmir and Istanbul. She got her first lessons on art from artists like Hale Sontas, Tayfun Erdogmus, Mahmut Cuda, Gurdal Duyar and Mehmet Guleryuz. When she was 18, she moved to Italy to study at the Brera Academy of Milan, from which she received her Bachelor’s degree in 1996. In that period, she painted in a style related to magic realism. In 2006 she returned to Istanbul to become a teacher of arts on Yeditepe University, where she worked with art students on re-reading art history. During the summer of 2008, she left Turkey again, this time to attend a Masters’s programme in Fine Arts at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Utrecht. She became very interested in the possibilities of re-telling the stories of historical artworks, like Diego Velasquez’s “Las Meninas”, using the abilities of new digital techniques and silkscreen printing to explore the re-readings of art history.