Aug 24, 2009

Sba Shaikh

Another first-timer and for her Art Trail debut, Sba Shaikh will be showing photography and textile pieces at the Vestry House Museum.

1. Please tell us about the work you will be showing in the 2009 E17 Art Trail?
The Personas of Mehraj is an ongoing collection of work. It is really an artistic journey of my different interests and passions that makes me not just a person but also an artist. I want to showcase a taster of the 3 main alter egos in my art at present, which are: A Mughal Indian princess, a Bollywood actress from the 80’s or 90’s (I haven’t decided yet) and a Rude Girl from East London.

The pieces and installations have colour, drama, romance, and light with an element of ‘Kitsch’ in them. I have used rich fabrics and some of the pieces have been hand dyed, printed and finished. Photography plays an important part in my art, as it is the basis at which I start a piece. The photographs I have chosen relate to the textiles that I will be showcasing.

For the ‘E17 Arts Trail’ I have also taken the aid of modern technology and have used a ‘Mac’ to produce the artwork for one of the pieces. The design has then been printed digitally onto fabric at the ‘Fab Pad’, University of East London Docklands.

2. Could you have done this work anywhere, or is it specific to E17? Did you respond to this year’s Art Trail theme ‘At Home’?
My work can be done anywhere so it's nit specific to the location but I do create from home.

3. Have you participated in the E17 Art Trail before?
No - I am a very excited First timer!

4. How does your work this year relate to your previous artistic practice?
My work always relates to my previous artistic practice. I like to show some old pieces and fit in newer pieces. This is because I am growing stronger as an artist and would like to show the viewer my journey as a Textile artist. So this year I am traveling further on my artistic voyage and drawing more from my culture, heritage and experiences.

5. What challenges (if any) do you face in realising this work?
Apart from working on a piece - when I have the artistic temperament to do so - I suppose not having a print studio or dye lab (where no one is looking over my shoulder and I am in
‘my world’), has given me the challenge in realising newer pieces of textile art.

This is because I like to use a technique called ‘Devoré’. This technique is where a solution is silkscreen printed on a specially woven fabric and then air-dried. The fabric is then put under heat and wherever the solution has been printed, certain fibers are burnt away. Once these have been removed, the other fibers are left behind as translucent sheer fabric.

This has been a challenge for me because to produce a piece using ‘Devoré’ the solution has to be fairly evenly printed. Therefore I have had to be more innovative and experimental in producing one of these pieces.

6. Who is this work for?
For anyone who might like my work and would like a part of me and/or my world in their environment.

7. As well as being an artist what else do you do?
I will be starting my new job in September at Leytonstone BES School as an Art/Textiles/Food teacher (here I have to ‘big up’ Luke Burton Head Teacher and Bruce Roberts Deputy Head- as I would not be able to do the ‘E17 Arts Trail’ without their support). As well as the above I run creative workshops: I have been running various workshops at William Morris gallery and Vestry house Museum during the past year. I also install large artworks in shop fronts and windows. One of these installations was at ‘Khubsoorat Collections’ in Green Street E7 8JF.

However the ultimate goal I am working towards is to be an eccentric textile artist and make oodles of money from my passion.

8. What is your favourite place in E17?
My home! I love coming home.

Sba Shaikh

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