"Art is not meant for your viewer to feel something, but to change something!"
- Shafina Jaffer
Shafina Jaffer, is an African artist of Indian origin, who has completed her Graduate Diploma in Art & Design & Masters in Painting from the Royal College of Art. Additionally she has been trained at Ruskin School of Art (Oxford University), Slade School of Art (UCL) and The Prince’s Foundation of Traditional Arts, United Kingdom. She has lived in multiple countries across different continents and is currently residing in Tanzania. Her works have been featured in several international exhibitions and publications. In 2023 her painting, Take Me Away, was selected to be shown at the Coronation Concert of their Majesties King Charles III & Queen Camilla at Windsor Castle. Last year her painting she was shortlisted for the Hyundai Awards for Excellence in Sustainability and Creative practice (2023). More recently, The Temptation (bark cloth painting) is being showcased at the National Gallery in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, on the occasion of India''s republic day. Shafina Jaffer uses her art to express her sensitivity towards nature and spirituality. These themes are often the ones articulated in her work where she aims to intermingle scientific, philosophical and nature themes with the spiritual. Moreover, this abstract attitude is further exalted with her use of authentic African organic materials, such as bark cloth, soil, crystals, cow bone, gold, saffron, turmeric, coffee and henna and much more.
In her view, the current landscape of ‘spiritual’ art is shaped by interpretations primarily derived from a religious lens. Her goal is to move away from such interpretations that fall under a religious aegis, aiming instead to intermingle scientific, philosophical and nature themes with the spiritual. In a maxim: she fosters an appreciation of spiritual art through thematic expressions that are a blend of scientific, philosophical or naturalistic reason — not religious nor esoteric reason. Furthermore, as an artist whom aims to provoke critical interpretations of her art from spectators, she leverages the concept of archetypes and mono-myth. In that, across civilisation - as well as across a globalised monoculture - there exists, and persists, social and cultural themes upon which she capitalise on. These archetypes being ones that pertain to: gender, feminism, the identity of the ‘self’ and divinity.
Finally her architectural and interior design experience spans over 20 years. In that time period, she has designed large scale hotels, fitness clubs, luxury Spas and several unique cinema exhibition sites around in Eastern & Southern Africa.