Sa’adiah Khan and Niyi

Sa’adiah Khan
and Niyi

Title of Work: Perpetual Challenges & Occasional Wins
Artist: Sa’adiah Khan
Conversation Partner: Niyi
Material: Mixed Media (Inks and Acrylic) on Found Paper
Dimensions: 4.5ft x 6.5ft
Sa’adiah’s Website: Click Here

TED TALK by Niyi:

Upper Part

Sa’adiah is a local artist with a focus on mental well-being and Niyi is studying for his MPhil in Education at St John’s College, Cambridge. They became acquainted four years ago through online community gifting site ‘Life is a gift-Cambridge’. Discovering they share many idiosyncrasies, they became friends. Having seen through the years that Niyi faced many challenges of inequality and noticing his ability to express or challenge each situation, Sa’adiah felt Niyi’s story would bring a dynamic and unique perspective to the project and that Niyi could be a voice for many that go unheard. Race, sexuality, financial challenges, trust, mental and physical health are just some of the topics that came up in their conversations.

Difficulties with all of these are just life for Niyi, particularly with anxiety, a tendency to self-sabotage when he feels close to a win, but his strong feeling of purpose keeps him battling away to pursue his passions – always reminding himself he does belong here. As humans we’re all complicated creatures, ever evolving – so through the work with Niyi, Sa’adiah wanted to play with the paradoxes that exist synchronously in both herself and her friend, including: advantage and adversity; confidence; anxiety; security; mistrust. The artwork is inspired by a therapeutic technique called body mapping, which Sa’adiah has adapted for the project.

First drawing around Niyi’s body, then adding colourful ink splatters representing Niyi’s vibrant personality. His text responses from questions asked such as “Who supports you?” “Who have you had to fight?” and from general conversation are written onto his body. Plants drawn and painted growing around the body represent both Niyi’s constant personal growth and determination and the realised impact of nature on Niyi’s health and well-being. Sa’adiah has tried to minimise using new tools or materials to create the artwork by using old inks and discarded but quality found paper. A little nod to how they met.

Title of Work: Perpetual Challenges & Occasional Wins

Artist: Sa’adiah Khan

Conversation Partner: Niyi

Material: Mixed Media (Inks and Acrylic) on Found Paper

Dimensions: 4.5ft x 6.5ft

Sa’adiah’s Website: Click Here

Ted Talk by Niyi:

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