The fusion of traditional metal work, exotic materials, and CAD, leads me to pursue the creation of intriguingly opulent artefacts. As an artist and a designer, I am stimulated by the abrasive and gritty city I live in, yet the luminous mix of warmth and colours are intrinsically part of my birth right. It is this combination that I endeavour to capture within my work. I have created a series of spiritual vessels for the home and exhibition that evoke sensuality, arouse sexuality, and stimulate play. Essentially, the main purpose for their existence is to summon fertility. Fertility in relation the these vessels are about growing passion, growing sensuality, growing sexuality, growing love (self-love and within a partnership). I have come to question who I am as an artist/designer in the UK, and how I am perceived as a Black British Woman in the British craft industry. Being a Black female, I identify with my British way of life, it is after all both where I was born and where I call home. However I am intrinsically connected to my Sierra Leonean heritage, my home away from home. At varying times I can feel either privileged or an outsider, and as 40% of the population of London identifies as Not British/British-Other, I am sure I am not alone in this feeling. Through my consequent research, I have wondered how my work reflects my dual culture and identity,and is my design aesthetic influenced by cultural heritage? At it’s root, the question, ‘How can an artefact carry your cultural and spiritual legacy?’ is designed to explore alternative ways for people to communicate with each other. Within my community, I have many platforms in which to connect and communicate with other people, but I still often feel very lonely. Even with all the great technology available to us I find myself challenged by the limitations of resources for learning my African ancestry in greater detail. How then can We (I) pass on traditions, history and culture to our ancestors and ensure a genuine legacy? Photography : Ekow Oliver Illustration : Dapo Adeola / Nadia Deen Prayer : Natalie Maddix / Nadia Deen Support: Cordwainers’ MA Scholarship The Leathersellers' Company Award
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