Updated: May 22
I am an artist and student based in Bradford. After obtaining a BA (Hons) in Media Make-up and Special Effects, I have changed my focus to Visual Arts. I am currently completing the first year of a part time MA in Visual Arts also at Bradford College. My work featured in this year’s student house is about repetition and distortion, highlighting feelings and emotions of mental health issues.
Q. Within your work, you present a feeling of entanglement, and perhaps entrapment. What led you to pursue this kind of representation and how do you feel that your choice of materials aid you in this?
Something I struggle with is being able to vocalise issues related to my mental health, sometimes there aren’t always the words. I wanted to create art that would express this instead, something that would hopefully resonate with others who have similar issues.
My choice of material, which includes cottons and various other yarns, paired with crochet easily allows me to include repetition in my work whilst being strong enough for me to manipulate, stretch and distort these pieces beyond the recognition of traditional crochet.
Q. Can you tell us a bit more about your practice as a whole? What interests you and inspires you within your work?
Creation in the form of drawing mandalas and basic crochet have been a big coping mechanism for my mental health. I wanted to use craft processes I was familiar with but also allow room for development and experimentation. I think society's focus on removing the stigma around mental health is so important, it is vital to continue on this path in any way possible and the more it is normalised, the better. As art has massively helped me cope it only makes sense to use my work to contribute towards something I have first-hand experience with. Inspirations behind my focus on repetition and distortion has been drawn from artists such as Yayoi Kusama, Eva Hesse and Frida Kahlo.
Q. How do you think your work has progressed with creative education?
One of the biggest impacts creative education has had for me, now and over the years, is improving my confidence. Learning to trust myself and my creative abilities. It has changed the way I think, process and refine my practice while still having the freedom to experiment and learn new skills. For me it has been invaluable
Q. What are you plans following graduation?
Continuing to create, experiment and learn. Possibly teaching, being involved somehow within the community or working with organisations like Saltaire Inspired. I still have another year till graduation which allows me time to network and explore as many areas as possible.
To see more of Saira Baig's work click the link below