Mud Break – No Break, because it is a continuous source of enrichment and joy! This pop-up exhibition is the result of a series of clay workshops hosted by Esra Sakir called: Mud Break. Esra is a visual 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. On June 12th, we will come together to celebrate our first creations made from Amsterdam clay, gathered from the Lutkemeerpolder. We’ll share food, so please bring your favorite homemade dish and tell us about your recipe. This evening is an opportunity for us to collectively appreciate all the work produced during the workshops. It’s also the moment for participants to retrieve their pieces after they’ve undergone bisque firing and glazing. Furthermore, we’ve invited Maryana Golovchenko, a vocalist, and Mehmet Polat, a ud player — two incredible musicians who will serenade us with beautiful songs from Ukraine and Turkey, dedicated to Mother Nature. Please join us to learn more about the clay of Amsterdam.

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

We embarked on this journey at the start of winter, and now, as we welcome spring and summer, it’s time to express our gratitude to Mother Nature. These series of clay workshops have provided us with the joy of making new friends and connecting with fellow clay enthusiasts. In these times of climate change, it’s imperative that we take action, yet the enormity of the problem can leave us feeling overwhelmed. Working with clay is a return to the basics — fire, air, water, and earth. It’s an opportunity to build a community united by shared interests and goals, transcending age, origin, and belief. It’s been a time of growth, connection, and sharing, all through one of the oldest materials known to humankind. We’ve experienced renewal and the beginning of something special. Initially, we thought we were molding the clay, only to realize it’s the earth shaping us. What we’ve achieved so far is just the start; there’s a long journey ahead as we strive to develop new versions of ourselves and forge deeper connections; the soil is our foundation. And then, we discovered the treasure of Amsterdam at Lutkemeerpolder, where our journey with wild clay began! In our city, we’re fortunate to have access to natural clay, which is truly remarkable!

If you’ve been missing the workshops, you’re still on time to join Esra at Lutkemeerpolder on May 19th and 20th-22nd at De Bouwput between 12:00 and 17:00. Please send an email to [email protected] for reservations.

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.