Can you tell us a little about the project that you entered to this competition?
I entered 3 different works. Faces is a poem that was inspired by the crazy pace of London that aims to encourages everyone to slow down and start to pay attention to others around them. Lend Me a Hand is a painting that encourages us to reach out to those who need help. Love Unites, another painting, was inspired by the terrorist attacks in Paris. It expresses the idea that concentrating on differences separates us and makes us weak. Only love can truly unite us.
Was the idea of 'changing the world' something you had considered before the competition?
The idea of changing the world has occupied me for a long time. The more mature I become, the more aware I am of the problems in our modern societies, and I cannot tolerate to see so much sorrow and misunderstanding. I feel that it is my duty to encourage change.
Why do you think it's important that art attempts to bring about change?
First of all, because art has the potential to produce a strong effect on us, therefore it is the best medium to convey a message. While a direct speech would feel too didactic and patronising, art can make unpleasant truths more palatable and ultimately more appealing through its aesthetically pleasing form. Furthermore, in a world that is so full of problems, art must go beyond pretty portraits and landscapes. It has a responsibility to use its influence in a beneficial way.
Do you have a favourite piece of art — in any art form — that really changed the world for you?
I don't think I have a favourite piece of art. But I'm astonished by the power of poetry. As a teenager I really struggled to express my fears and sorrows, because nobody understood me. But when I started experimenting with words, poetry gave me an outlet to release the tension within me.
When did you start making art?
I've always been creative, but I started taking art seriously around the age of 12.
What else are you up to right now?
My theatre company is performing my first play, Hardcross, at the Bread and Roses Theatre between 5-9 July. It's a hilarious dark comedy about a dysfunctional family. Also, I just finished university, and I am currently looking for the next step.
What would be your ideal project to work on?
My ideal project would be multi-disciplinary, uniting different genres of art. It would also deal with a relevant topic that speaks to everyone, and possibly offer options for the audience to participate/interact.
What can we expect from you in the next year or so? Do you have any plans for new projects?
I have endless ideas for stories, paintings, poems... So I'm hoping that some of it will finally bring opportunities for progression. I wish to continue to develop myself as a multi-disciplinary artist and expand the scope of my works internationally. I also hope that Hardcross will be performed somewhere many, many times throughout the year.
Knock, knock, knock.
A station. Rush hour.
An endless monotony of
Heels on the pavement.
One blending with the other,
A faceless crowd rushes by.
One lifeless mass
And dragging indifference with them.
Afraid to be crushed, you push through
And run and duck and flee.
But stop just for once, I ask you
And observe the crowd around you.
The mass separates,
Falls into pieces.
And all of a sudden
You start to see faces.
You begin to wonder.
How many are hungry?
How many are ill?
How many are freezing?
How many live in fear?
How many strangers?
How many are natives?
How many are in love?
How many have babies?
How many hate?
How many are late?
How many are tired?
How many got fired?
You'd think you see
But look closer,
And you'll discover
And in all of them
You recognise yourself.
You can't turn from others
And you cannot hate,
For then you'd turn from yourself
And you'd hate your own existence.