How are you feeling today? This week? This new year?
I feel grateful, hopeful, and motivated …
What are you looking forward to doing this year in your art practice?
Ok here are a few things I am looking forward to:
“I wonder how many of these pieces were made by Kurds?” is a question that comes up for me often when I am confronted with artifacts in museums specifically from Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Syria. So, I have been working on a project/initiative that will help us consider the erasure of Kurdish history and culture that is present in these spaces while encouraging various museums and institutions to dig a little deeper into the history of these artifacts. I have been thinking a lot about the politics of display and the split that divides anthropological artifacts, fine arts, and decorative arts. I look forward to seeing different stages of this project come to life this year.
According to my “good friend” Merriam Webster the definition of “sweep (something) under the rug,” means to hide (something that is illegal, embarrassing, or wrong). You know when someone comes into the studio and they end up talking about that one piece that is “swept under the rug”? Well, this is the approach I have been taking with this new series of studio visits I have been working on with artists in the South for Number Magazine called “Under the Rug” which I am really excited about!
This summer I’ll be working with the youth in Nashville! I’ll be teaching a class I’ve designed called “Art in Action” through Watkins Community Education programs at Belmont University. We will be exploring various ways to activate people, spaces, and materials through reused mixed media practices. I’ll also be working with the youth at Mcgruder Social Practice Residency with artists Marlos E’van and Courtney Adair Johnson. We’ll have around 8 Opportunity Now interns in the studio teaching them about studio management, curating, and other jobs/rolls within the arts. I have some upcoming shows including my first solo show with Red Arrow Gallery in November (save the date!) And multiple other shows in Nashville and overseas this year! You can follow me on social media platforms, such as Instagram, (@nuveenbarwari is my username) I share updates on my upcoming shows via social media!
What has changed since we last caught up with you around this time last year?
Last time we talked I was altering found materials into apparel and transforming my parents’ living room into an installation/studio space called “2 half-truths make 1new truth”. That installation helped establish the “No Fly Zone” at the Coop Gallery in Nashville, Tennessee, which was a large-scale installation that I did during the month of August 2020, during my residency there… which now has partially evolved into these small but loud 6 x 6 / 6 x 10-inch fabric collages that I have been obsessed with.
How can people continue to support artists in their communities?
Keep making art. Keep writing about art. Keep purchasing art. Keep looking at art. Keep talking about art. Keep teaching art. Keep showing art. Keep sharing art.
Make. Write. Purchase. Look. Talk. Teach. Show. Share.
I believe that we all have a responsibility to maintain and nurture this art ecosystem.
Note: The mentioned above does not have to be in any particular order!
Do you have any #protips or things you have learned in the past year that you would like to share with fellow artists?
Go outside. Go on a walk. Take a break. It’s ok. Rest is important.
What is your go-to food of choice these days? Any new recipes that you have tried that you are excited to make again?
I have been cooking kabobs in my air fryer and it is amazing!
Barwari’s art is influenced by her family histories, being born in the U.S in 1995., and spending her adolescent years in Duhok, Kurdistan. She completed a Bachelor of Science in Studio Art from Tennessee State University in 2019 and is a 2022 MFA candidate at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. Often referencing Kurdish history, her work explores the fictive and nonfictive space between the homeland and the host land. A space that can be translated through repurposed mixed media that draws connections to U.S commodity culture, the mise-en-scéne of bazaars, globalization, and colonial amnesia. Barwari’s expansive practice includes installations; the deconstruction of materials into performances; co-hosting a podcast; collecting and repurposing artifacts from a larger community such as photos, rugs, fabrics, and Kurdish dresses; and an online shop that supplies apparel and art internationally.
You can learn more about Nuveen Barwari and her work on the website here: https://fufucreations.com
And keep tabs on new work via Instagram here: @nuveenbarwari
Pigeon Post or Prison Post, 2021
Found fabric, thread, dad’s old scarf, canvas
Blue and Grey (studio visit with rothko), 2021
My old denim, found denim, deconstructed Kurdish Dress scraps, thread
Found denim, fabric from Kurdistan, thread on found wood, YEAR
Dance, Dance, Revolution, 2021
Dads old scarf, deconstructed Kurdish dress, found wood
Flower Fighter, 2021
Found fabric, burlap, found wood