We continue our chats with City Gallery hosts, this week it's 21 year old Sebastiaan Bierema. Sebastiaan spent the first eleven years of his life in the Netherlands before emigrating with his family to a farm in Raikaia. It was a shock, only his father could speak English! Sebastiaan now speaks three languages fluently (Dutch, English and Portuguese) as well as a smattering of German - an asset to City Gallery and our international visitors.
How long have you worked at City Gallery and what attracted you?
I'm a third year Politics and International Relations student but I love the arts so decided I would like to work part-time in a gallery or museum. I dropped off my CV last year and have been here for a month. I work about 15-20 hours a week. I am also a painter, mostly self-taught. I paint portraits and recently I have been getting more into oils. It helps that my flatmates are also artists in their spare time so we have all taken over the living room as a studio. Occasionally I set up a stall at the Underground Market and sell my work there.
What does the role encompass?
My job is to make people feel at ease, allowing them to enjoy the artwork.
What do you enjoy most about working here?
I love talking to people; I've already met people from all around the world at City Gallery. The other day three South American women came in with very little English. They were native Spanish speakers but discovered I could speak Portuguese so we managed to have a bit of a chat. It turned out that when I was on my AFS exchange in Brazil in 2011, they had holidayed in the same small town where I was living.
I also really like the sneak peeks the hosts get of artworks as they are being installed, before the exhibitions open.
Is there an exhibition or artwork that you have felt passionately about so far?
The Viviane Sassen photographs. I like the contrasts in the images that make them almost look like paintings.
Rachel Healy, Communications Manager