Award-winning 10-year-old artist welcomes Hackney exhibition

Marina Cruzer with her artwork at the cafe

Marina Cruzer with her artwork at the cafe - Credit: Archant

An award-winning young artist has captured the essence of Hackney in a series of paintings for her third exhibition.

Marina Gruzer, who is just 10, was commissioned by the Long White Cloud café, in Hackney Road, after the owners heard about her painting skills.

Russian-born Marina, who moved to England five years ago and lives just outside London, spent months travelling to and from Hackney with her parents to familiarise herself with the area, after she decided to portray everyday scenes in the borough to give the exhibition a more local focus.

She said: “I paint on the street if the weather is good but if it is raining I will just paint from a photograph. I like painting in Hackney because the buildings are very old and quite detailed.

“Sometimes, if the place has some nice colours or buildings I might want to paint that.”

She added: “I like making the sky light, and making different tones in it.”

Her mother, Anna Gruzer, 44, said it was Marina’s school teachers that first discovered her talent for art and that she is the only painter in the family.

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Tannaz Oroumchi, of Long White Cloud, said: “We actually approached Marina because we heard she is a really good painter and I thought it would be amazing to encourage that.

“We are always establishing other artists because the area is so full of them. and to have a 10-year-old show them how to do it is great.”

She added: “To maintain that playfulness that a child has and not become so conscious when you are painting as well, that is something that should never be lost as an artist. I think that if Marina could proceed in the way that she paints now, she is on to a very successful career.”

Marina has had one previous exhibition in London and another in St Petersburg.

She has also won first prize for paintings at the flower show in Claygate, her home town, for three years running.

This latest offering will feature 20 paintings of places and moments of daily life in the borough, from Broadway Market to Victoria Park.

Tannaz said: “In addition to all the other studies that she has, I think it is very hard to fit art in but to have all the skills is quite important; to have the sciences, the arts and the languages as well, we are on to a winner here.”

Marina’s exhibition starts on Wednesday at 6.30pm at the Long White Cloud, 151 Hackney Road, E2 8JL.