This blog is a way of opening a dialogue between me the artist and you, my audience. I have been debating with myself for a while about whether it was worth even embarking on a blog or not.
This first post is going to be a brief introduction to who I am, what inspires me and my approach to my art.
So where do I begin? I guess the beginning is the best place. I grew up in South East London during the 1980s and 1990s. I loved cartoons and Sci-Fi. Star Trek, Battle Star Galactica, Knight Rider and Babylon 5 were the staples of my TV Viewing and as a young child He-man was one of my favourite cartoons. I collected the comics. Drawing was always a passion of mine and I would spend hours drawing and sketching the characters and machines. In high school (Secondary school) my interest deepened as I discovered Surrealism, PopArt and the Avent Garde. This carried on and eventually I studied Art at GCSE and then at A level.
In 1997 I met the lady who would eventually become my wife. She is from Somalia and I found her religion and culture enthralling. I learned as much as I could about it and in 1998 I said my Shahada at Peckham Mosque and accepted Islam as my new faith. Later that year we had our Nikah (wedding) at Lewisham Mosque.
This opened a new world of Art to me and I began to create art that fused both of the cultures my life now inhabited together and I wanted to explore them to express my new found identity. In 2013 I was invited to Glasgow, Scotland to be the featured Artist for the Scottish Islamic Art Festival.
This was followed up by three more joint exhibitions, the latest one being the Beauty and faith exhibition hosted by Art House 21 (formerly Islamic Imprints). This was held at the Muslim Lifestyle Expo in Manchester 2018. Along the way, I have met many exceptional artists who continue to inspire me. Farah Soobhan, Teakster and Saddiqa Juma to name a few. I am honoured to have exhibited alongside them and honoured to be forging a new standard of Brittish Islamic art with them.
Today I am a full-time Design & Technology Teacher/ Technician working in a local Secondary School. I am privileged to help and guide our young people to develop an understanding of Art, Design, and technology while at the same time show them how to turn their ideas into reality. The younger generation never ceases to amaze me with their ideas. it really is a fun, rewarding and fascinating profession.
I practice my art alongside my education career. These days my creativity has increased to include Acrylic Art, Digital Art, Jewellery, Sculpture and Home Decor. Utilising the cutting-edge technologies of 3D Printing and Laser Cutting I continue to explore the relationship between Western and Middle Eastern cultures through these avenues. What are your thoughts? If you have any questions then please feel free to leave a comment below.