Art is an expression of my identity and experiences. It allows me to communicate emotions and stories that words often cannot capture. Creating art is both a therapeutic process and a powerful tool for connection, enabling me to engage with others on a deeper, more meaningful level. Art, to me, is not just a passion but a purpose that drives my mission for inclusivity and understanding.

During lockdown, I embarked on a journey driven by a profound need to channel my pain and frustration stemming from the negative stigma faced by people of colour. This journey was catalysed by my firsthand encounters with racism in various professional settings. I needed an outlet to release my pent-up emotions while simultaneously advocating for the irrelevance of skin colour in defining individuals.

My unique approach to portraiture is creating immersive art that challenges thoughts about identity and beauty. I want to create a platform to provoke thoughts and discussions that may challenge the perceptions that people have been conditioned to believe in our society. 

I create portraiture art to show that Your Skin Does Not Define You (YSDNDY). 

In our society, skin colour holds so much weight, despite it being nothing more than an evolutionary trait. In the absence of skin colour, you cannot always tell the origins of a person. These artworks remind us that race is a fluid social construct, with no consistent traits across ethnicities. My portraits use a range of colours beyond natural skin tones to challenge the idea that beauty or race is limited to skin colour.

I hope to provide the opportunity to create a different dialogue, open minds and change perspectives.

The outcome of my portraits is often a surprise even to me. I select colours intuitively, driven by personal impulses or emotions. Sometimes, a particular colour strikes a chord with me for an unknown reason, and I build the palette around it. For commissioned pieces, I invite the subject to choose three colours that they like, ensuring a personal connection. I select the remaining colors based on intuition.

I believe that colours carry meaning and energy, reflecting the emotions I'm experiencing at the moment. I explore the symbolism of the dominant colour in my portrait and choose the meaning that resonates most with my current state of being.

I find it fascinating to discover the meanings of these colours as sometimes, I struggle to express or understand how exactly I'm feeling, and they help me put it into words. As a result, I gain a deeper insight into myself and my emotions, strengthening my connection with myself.


Tahira x