British artist inspired by Samoan way of life

A British artist hopes to do enough paintings of everyday life in Samoa to open an art exhibition at the Tiapapata Art Gallery.

London-based Lydia Cecil arrived last week and will be in the country for 10 weeks.

The 25-year-old was looking for residency around the world, as she wanted to get out of her comfort zone, after studying art at Lara where they teach very traditional methods of drawing and oil painting.

While looking for information on the internet she came across the Tiapapata Art Gallery and took the chance to apply.

“I applied to the art gallery and was accepted, so I will be in Samoa helping out with workshops and assisting some of the youth groups,” she said.


Ms. Cecil stated that the owners of the art gallery were generous to allow her to use their studios for painting along with its equipment.

“If I do get enough paintings together we might put on an exhibition at the gallery space.

“After being in Samoa for a couple of days, I just can’t get over how beautiful the place is. Everything I see here is just really inspiring.

“I love to paint ordinary situations, seeing people going about their everyday lives in their beautiful Samoan houses which are very colourful.”

She graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a degree in History after four years.

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Her love art started at a young age of ten through her mother who is also an artist.

“My mother is an artist but she has never done it professionally but she does some beautiful artwork.

“I used to spend all my free time at home painting with my mother but I never thought of it as a career.

“For me, art is something that words are not enough to describe but I would be lost without the kind of direction painting gives me.”

She said that being artist has changed how she looks at ordinary things because she would always think about how will she will paint or compose it.

“Art became an essential part of my life, it helps centers oneself but it can get quite lonely which is why I like to work with models and do collaborations with other artists because it is a lonely career.

“I think everybody should have the space to sort of have creativity in their life.”

The British artist said that a difficulty that an artist such as herself faces is job security.

“You’re really never sure when is your next paycheck coming and I think that can be very daunting at times, but then I always remind myself that I am very lucky to be able to pursue what I really love in life.

“I think that doing what you love is a privilege that others do not have.


“In terms of the future, I haven’t thought that far ahead because you never know what could happen, who would have thought that I would be in Samoa.”

She advised anyone interested in art to be determined and just go after what their passion in life.

“The rewards at the end of it will be so worth it.”

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