A celebration of culture

by Nadiyaa Jaffer, Gloucester Services Farmshop

“I started working a Gloucester Services in July 2014 in the Farmshop alongside my studies and recently graduated with a First-Class Honours in Textile Design for Fashion and Interiors from Bath University.  I was shortlisted for the ‘Sanderson Award 2021’ and my textile designs have been sold in Japan, Australia, LA, China, and Germany.

My current collection, which is my second public exhibition, at the Ewe Space was part of my collection for my final degree. Inspired by my Indian heritage, ‘Indian nights, a faraway land’ is a celebration of culture, colour, amazing food, and ornate dresses.  My Indian heritage has always been celebrated within my family on British soil, although my father’s village, Daman, is distant, it still feels like home. I created this collection based on the narrative I created of this exotic world.

My first step to creating a collection is based on what inspires me at the time and how I want to express this. For this collection, I experimented with using traditional Mughal painting techniques using gold watercolour, acrylic and Indian ink. Using photos of my family, exotic plants and exquisite dress details, I created Sketchbook after sketchbook of paintings, drawing and photography to give my collection a range of inspiration.

Creating drawings and patterns digitally also play an important part in my work. Photoshop and illustrator aid me in creating repeat patterns and textured prints full of depth and vibrant colour. I also love to share my artistic process on social media to allow people and aspiring artists an inside experience to how a collection and artwork is processed. I relished the opportunity to talk to people at the exhibition about my artwork as everyone seemed really interested in my prints! I always feel overjoyed when my art is appreciated, and I love talking about the creative process which is involved in creating a collection. 

I am also currently employed by G.A.S.P!  (Gloucestershire Arts and Social Projects) which is a new organisation created by Soozy Roberts and Hannah Thomson that has been developing in Matson and Gloucester. I work as a community Curating Assistant where I organise and set up exhibition spaces for a variety of artwork whilst working within communities to make art and creative experiences more accessible to people.

I have a few pieces of advice to aspiring artists and creatives: to always do what you love, no matter what setbacks you have. I would also say its normal to make ‘mistakes’ as this is part of the learning process and don’t let this set you back to pursuing in your career, and always jump to opportunities without the ‘what if’ mindset.

I would love to see my artwork sold in shops which has always been a dream of mine! I am currently taking commissions and will soon be setting up an Etsy shop where I will be selling my prints and artwork. I have always wanted to create large murals which I am hoping to achieve in the near future!”

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