Artist of the Week: Saj Fareed
This week Brighton Journal spoke to local textile artist, Saj Fareed. Through her brand, Pull and Pin, Saj hosts embroidery workshops that encourage creativity as a means to channel mindfulness and wellbeing. We discussed her ITV Creates 2020 identity project, her work for the upcoming Brighton Design Show in April 2020, as well as her favourite things to do locally. Take a look at Saj’s wonderful work.
What are you doing today?
Today I have been taking photographs of my work for my website.
Describe where you do most of your creative work.
I currently don’t have a studio space so work from home. In many ways I prefer this as it means I can work at any time of the day and not feel restricted. After all creativity can strike at any time.
What’s the most exciting thing you’ve worked on?
The most exciting thing I have worked on was my recent ITV Creates 2020 identity project. Last year every week new versions of the ITV logo were created by different artists and screened between programmes. The project continued this year with a focus on artists and community groups that have wellbeing at the core of their work. Socially engaged artists worked collaboratively with community groups to produce their version of the ITV logo. I was selected to take part and I collaborated with the Asian Women’s Resource Centre in London. Our logo was screened before every programme for a week in the beginning of January, that was a surreal and very exciting experience.
What made you decide to become an artist?
I don’t feel like I decided, I always knew since I could remember that I wanted to be an artist.
What are you currently working on?
I am always working on a couple of projects at the same time. I have just completed a limited collection of slow stitch artworks entirely in shades of purple. I was inspired by the fact that internationally the colour purple symbolises women, and we have International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day coming up soon.
I am working on slow stitch brooches and wall art that will be stocked in the designer’s store at the Brighton Design Show 2020 in April.
I have also been planning my slow stitch repairs for clients. I offer a slow stitch bespoke service where I can bring life back into your worn out or stained garments by repairing and embroidering onto them. Particularly as we are thinking about less waste and a shift more into slow fashion, my service is a great way of holding onto your clothes and giving them a little bit of art for that something extra.
What are the key themes in your work?
Slow Art and Mindful Art are an integral part of my creative process, the idea of focusing on your hands while making is a great way to be in the moment and forget about your everyday for a while. This is my ethos as a visual artist and when I run workshops as an artist educator. I relish the fact that I work in an intuitive and organic way and see what develops, I don’t plan what the final artwork will look like. I love colour, shapes and patterns, which most definitely is a strong theme in my work. I’m very much about the process which is why my brand is called Pull and Pin.
What would you like people to notice about your work?
The fact that people are surprised when they realise what materials I have used, for example stretched tights, unravelled jumpers in my work. That you can create work using everyday materials you find around your home and transform them. I want to surprise and delight people and for them to appreciate the process of how the work is made.
What attracts you to the medium you work in?
I am a sucker for a haberdashery shop! I love sewing threads and fabric, especially fibrous fabrics as I’m very much into texture and the tactile quality.
What equipment could you not do without?
I cannot be without my needles, threads and fabric for my stitching and pen and paper for when I just want to doodle sketch.
Who or what inspires you?
As a socially engaged artist, I am inspired by which ever group I am working with. I love collaborating and sharing experiences, I find I am always learning new things.
How is your work affected by living in this area?
Its great being in a coastal city, I have lived here for about 25 years and can’t see myself going anywhere else. I don’t do it enough, but sea front walks are just the best, it really helps to calm the mind and spark ideas for work.
What’s your favourite thing to do locally?
We are spoilt for coffee shops and I enjoy just meandering through the city.
What’s your favourite gallery (or place to see/experience art)?
My absolute favourite gallery is Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, I could easily spend the whole day walking around the many spaces. It has the best education/interactive facilities that grownups can enjoy as much as the kiddies. I could not believe my luck that I got to see the artist Yayoi Kasuma Infinity Mirrored Room there too, the installation blew my mind.
If you could collaborate with one artist, from any time, who would it be and why?
I love Op Art that started in the 1960’s as I’ve always been interested in the use of shapes, colours and patterns that create these amazing optical illusion effects. Bridget Riley would be great, I would love to make large scale works with her eye for detail and my materials.
What’s your favourite colour?