Interview; Daria Chursinada Date: 29/05/2015
I meet Nina at a shaded table near the kiosk café in vibrant and picturesque Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara. We talk to a waiter in Portuguese, though Nina is from Southampton and I`m from Moscow. The waiter immediately guesses we are foreigners and jokes about a secret rendezvous of British and Russian intelligence officers. No, it`s not international cooperation that brought us together – it`s the great affection to Lisbon. I saw this affection in Nina`s pictures. She managed to sense the impossible: the air in Lisbon, its soul, unique moments of its life. Now, listening to her, I`m finally sure - she has also got Lisbon in her blood.
NINA: Lisbon crashed into my life all of a sudden. I have never planned to move here, but fate broke in. My boyfriend (he is a Portuguese) was offered a job here. We didn`t think long… One week – and here we are.
Of course, I fly to Great Britain every now and then. There are lots of projects and many friends. I can`t leave them for long.
I created my first solo exhibition already living in Lisbon. But it took place in Winchester. I didn`t know Portuguese at all then, so I spent the first few months focusing on UK contacts.
«Galão» - is the first word I learnt in Portuguese.
My first achievement in Lisbon – co-working with a small boutique shop «Quer» in Principe Real. It sells tools for kids art activities. In June you will find my works in Augusto Lounge & Arte Galeria near Castelo São Jorge. Its owner's are nice, open-hearted people. They renew the display every month exhibiting new artists.
I spent loads of time creating and promoting my web-site. Loads of time! But it helped to find clients all over the world. My clients often send me their own photos – views of Lisbon or something else. So, based on these pictures, I create my own landscapes for customers.
Now I`m taking part in a very exciting project with Łódź URBAN EXPLORERS. It will take place this June in Poland. The project is created by a team exploring buildings and city landscapes.
I`m not studying Portuguese at the moment. Took a break, so to say. There is an excuse – I understand many things. I even wrote an article in Portuguese, though my friend helped me, of course. I think I will master this language one day!
Time-management is a difficult thing here, in Portugal. There`s almost always good weather and you are tempted to go out. I`m trying to be more organized, but it`s not that easy.
I order only paper from London and buy everything else necessary for my creative work here in local stores. That`s great!
Beer culture is developing in Lisbon and I like it. But it is still very far from pub traditions in Great Britain.
I definitely want to stay in Lisbon. I feel like home here more than anywhere else. When I come to visit my family in England, I have such a feeling…How to explain… «Not the right one»