openollageAfternoon with: Artist Nabeeha Mohamed | Elle Decoration South AfricaOh what we wouldn’t do for a studio space like this! Meet Nabeeha Mohamed, artist cum maker, doer, stylista. Her studio space on the slopes of Table Mountain is utterly inspiring.

Afternoon with: Artist Nabeeha Mohamed | Elle Decoration South AfricaNabeeha graduated from UCT’s Michaelis School of Fine Art in 2011, after which she took an extended break from artmaking. A few months ago she left her office job to pursue her own passions.

A very important thing I’ve learnt about myself recently is that I need several projects and pursuits to keep me stimulated and inspired, but at the core of everything I do, I like to consider myself an artist.

How would you describe your work?
I work in a variety of media with materialism being the thread that connects all my work. The creation of any given work is a continuous process of discovery and learning – from allowing myself to intuitively find materials that spark my curiosity to then observing, playing with and understanding a material and it’s possibilities and limitations, and finally allowing the material to direct it’s own end in what I would then call an artwork.

Afternoon with: Artist Nabeeha Mohamed | Elle Decoration South AfricaHow would you describe your studio space?
I’ve always dreamt of having a greenhouse – I love the straight lines of the architecture set against growing plant-life. Half of my studio is made up of large mirror-glass panels in tinted blue with a lush garden just outside, so there is something quite like a greenhouse about it. The mirror-glass allows me to see the outside world, but one cannot see from the outside in. There’s something quite magical in that for me.

Afternoon with: Artist Nabeeha Mohamed | Elle Decoration South AfricaWho is your favourite South African artist working at the moment?
Georgina Gratrix – I like to describe her paintings as a seemingly incongruous pairing of the grotesque and the beautiful. I think she is a brave painter – which to me is the only kind of painter to be.

What are you working on?
I’m currently focusing on painting – I have about 15 works that I am moving back and forth between in an attempt to really push my understanding of paint and what it can do and express. I find I learn something new with each work and I like to then take that back to every other piece.

Afternoon with: Artist Nabeeha Mohamed | Elle Decoration South Africa

What is playing on your iPod?
Harry Belafonte, Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, Don McLean, Bob Dylan, Elton John – I’m a sucker for the music I was brought up listening to but my iPod includes a pretty wide variety of artists; everything from Beirut to The Pharcyde to The Sound of Music OST. If it’s good, I’ll listen to it.

Where are you going for dinner?
Sawadee’s – I could never say no to a delicious Thai food dish by Chef Pons.

What are you watching?
I’ve recently found myself falling in love with Tarkovsky’s films. They are poetic, tragic and utterly beautiful.

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