About

Esther lives and works on the South East Coastline of Central Scotland and finds this landscape a never-ending source of inspiration. She began making her own work in 2008 after a career lecturing in art and design. As a visual artist, Esther’s work has evolved from working in various mediums including ceramics, painting, photography, collage and digital photomontage. Her most recent work relates to themes around sources of energy, both natural and man-made and their time and place in society. She calls this her Electric Landscape Series. She has also, up to quite recently, produced hand painted ceramic tiled panels for interior commissions. Scanning these tiles, then working with them digitally, she produces prints and images for commercial giftware and sells them from her Coorie Bothy Shoppie stall at the Tron Kirk Market on the Royal Mile in central Edinburgh. While the continuing commercial popularity of her ‘Bothy’ series has featured in magazine articles, ‘Switch- Torness’ was chosen as the cover image for ‘FLOW’ Visual Art Scotland’s online Exhibition in 2020. Her piece Fridge Fusion was selected for The Scottish Landscape Awards Exhibition 2023, while most recently, both Fridge Fusion and Coal Fired were accepted for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2024.

The South East Coastline of Central Scotland has influenced my latest project of work called Electric Landscapes. Working with photography, digital montage, collage and assemblage, my work relates to thems around sources of energy both natural and man made. “The story behind my  Electric Landscape work began with a walk along a beach next to a nuclear power station. Disliked as much as revered by the local community, this utilitarian structure of modernity sits facing the sea. The colour of the building seemed to change with the light and almost fade into the colour of the cold grey sky. Looking at it, I had a simple thought of projecting a light switch onto the square front panel of the building and imagining one of Terry Gilliam’s ‘hands’ descending with pointed finger from the sky and pressing the switch off and thus the power station. The walk along the beach with my partner happened during lockdown when the entire world seemed to shut down. And, it seems, even today, is still trying to wake up…

Esther Cohen 2024

 “When I left school, I spent a year as an apprentice potter, eventually throwing 100 mugs a day on a kick wheel that had been customised with a motor from an old washing machine found in the local skip. The kick wheel had been designed, made and customised by my late father, the potter and ceramic artist Dave Cohen.”

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Electric Landscapes. Film featuring the work  ‘Fridge Fusion’ nominated for Scottish Landscape Awards 2023

My film Electric Landscapes is a visual essay that explores the series of work around the creation of  Fridge Fusion and my latest piece of work Coal Fired.  The central theme of the work involves using natural light to depict the artificial light generated by electricity within a fridge or the reflection of light metal inside of a domestic oven. This approach utilizes reflected light to establish depth and provide a window into a surreal landscape that blends both interior and exterior realms. The fusion of digital manipulation, composition and the choice of material aims to trigger a sensation, taking the viewer on a journey through a landscape of dreamlike memory or emotion.

Esther’s work on show  at the Bass Rock Gallery, Tantallon Studios 2022. The Studios closed August 2023.

‘Into the Wind We Go’ submission for Royal Scottish Academy Annual Exhibition, 2020

Interview by The Scottish Design Exchange Outlet, 2019

Articles

FLOW Esther Cohen

Education

MFA                 Master of Fine Art 

                          Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee                                       1994 -1995

BA (Hons).       Bachelor of Arts, Second Class Division 1, Sculpture,

                          Glasgow School of Art                                                                                   1990 -1993

TQFE               Postgraduate Teaching Qualification (Further Education),

                          University of Dundee                                                                                      2004

 

Exhibitions

        Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2024

Mixed Show                                                              2024

  • Visual Art Scotland , Centenary Show

Mixed Show                                                              2024

  • Scottish Landscape Awards

Mixed Show                                                               2023-24

  • Applied Arts Scotland Open Members “Makers Offerings”

Mixed show                                                                2023

  • The 197th RSA Annual Exhibition

Mixed show                                                                2023

  • Society of Scottish Artists 130 Annual Exhibition

Mixed Show                                                               2022

  • The 195th RSA Annual Exhibition

Mixed show                                                                2020

  • Visual Arts Scotland

FLOW – Mixed show                                                2020

  • The Torrance Gallery, Edinburgh

Coasting  – Solo show                                                2020

  • Rock n Bird Window

Cold Blows The Wind                                               2019

  • Birch Tree Gallery, Edinburgh

Mixed show                                                                2018

  • Hoptoun House

Mixed Show                                                               2017

  • Bass Rock Gallery Tantallon Studios          2008-present

Memberships

•  Applied Art Scotland Professional Membership

•  Society of Scottish Artists Member

•   Visual Art Scotland Member

•   Document Scotland, Patreon Subscriber

•   National Galleries of Scotland Friend

•   an +AIR membership & art insurance