ArtChat [Blog Interview #33] – Nafisa

With the onset of Spring the gallery is literally blooming with new life! In our Spring Inspired feature, Nafisa will make her debut with a beautiful collection of works which will focus on flora.Artchat briefly caught up with Nafisa to gain a little insight into her art.

Nafisa at Red Hill GalleryAC: Describe your art in one sentence Nafisa: Ultimately my work is about 'beauty in nature' and whether that be reflected in a portrait, an animal or a group of unrelated objects- the identity and uniqueness revealed by close observation, reminds us of our fragile world and our obligation to respect and preserve it.

AC: Who or what inspired you to become an artist? Nafisa: From a young age I loved to draw and create and yet it was always the Old Masters (in particular those of the High Renaissance) which held the greatest fascination for me possibly because their art celebrated beauty of nature and the human form from a perspective of understanding and science as well as talent. So after a few years of studying medicine, I was able to appreciate the knowledge behind the art and when I chose to follow my desire to become an artist 13 years ago, it was natural that the human form would be part of my work.

AC: When you are creating - what music do you listen to? Nafisa: I like to listen to a very broad range of music and currently am listening to the music of 'One Republic' which addresses the things in my personal life that I am contemplating. I think that is true of most times I am drawn to particular artists, whether it be Jack Johnson, Adele, or Maroon 5……..we all like to hear that our feelings can be validated. As painting and sculpture is about personal expression, to be listening to a song/music which I can identify with…tends to put me in a frame of mind which affects that which I am creating.

AC: Tell our readers something about yourself that may surprise them? Nafisa: I ride a Black Ducati 800cc Monster and Romeo (my silver toy poodle) rides on the back.

AC: What is your favourite thing about Spring? Nafisa: The temperature change…which brings about the regeneration of all things in nature and the days are more colourful as a result.There is also a noticeable buoyancy in people when the whether warms up which can be observed in a passer-by's expression.

AC: Just a fun question! What is your favourite fashion accessory? Nafisa: Just as a fun response; without doubt-"Romeo"- he turns heads wherever I go and begs compliments constantly apart from being the perfect conversation starter!

AC: Is there anything you can not live without? Nafisa: I can't live without my art…without my ability to express myself through the visual medium of painting, drawing, sculpture-. It might sound false to those who are not creatives but when your work is your identity (as that of a singer, musician, visual artist) then to be restrained from 'doing' your work is akin to tying one to a chair, blindfolding them and putting a gag in their mouth. Artistic expression in all its forms is what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom and defines our culture…which is why we want to create.

NafisaAC: Winning the Packing Room Prize at the 2010 Archibald Prize must have been a wonderful experience – do you enter the Archibald Prize every year? Nafisa: I do enter something into the Archibald each year as I feel that the genre of portraiture celebrates humanity and the achievements/identity of the subject(s) portrayed. As founder of Portrait Artists Australia I also believe that supporting the institutions which foster the arts and hold competitions is vital to engaging the public with artistic expression. Which in turn serves to be a barometer of society at the time.

AC: And finally what is next for Nafisa? What are you working on and what can we expect from you in the future? Nafisa: As I am passionate about wildlife conservation having founded Animal Works (- www.animalworks.com.au ) which is a charity fundraising for the rescue, rehabilitation and release of endangered species globally, a large portion of my work is given in that direction. So Africa, India and Borneo are frequently on the travel destination calendar and it means when i am working, the issues are never local- always global. I would like to focus on my bronze sculptures a little more and am expecting to finish the third 6 meter mural in the series ('Regeneration' was the first -that won the Gold Medal at the Florence Biennale) which I have been working on for the past 8 months. My fascination with Australian wildflowers is a lifelong commitment to observing their beauty and drawing the public eye to the fragile, yet resilient, specimens which are so unique to our island. Nafisa at Red Hill Gallery©  www.redhillgallery.com.au