Afu Shaafiu

Born in Male’, Maldives (1975), I started my professional career at the age of 18, as a postage stamp designer at the Maldives Post Limited. For me, my 13 years in the post office and my education in graphic design and multimedia was an integral part of my Fine Art career. I have  been actively producing art and exhibiting my works both locally and internationally. Many of my works are in the permanent collection of the National Art Gallery of Maldives. I received the National Award of Recognition for Visual Arts in 2014. I am currently living in Bath, UK.


Instagram: @afumeeha


Artist Statement

My work, mainly as paintings and sculptures, is based on the idea of symbiotic and parasitic relationships between organic and inorganic, tangible and spiritual things. By observing nature, and sometimes the interaction between people, I imitate such occurrences and try to bridge these often contradicting ideas together. The work is also an extension of my ideals of tolerance and peaceful co-existence. 


Evolving over time and adapting to circumstances, social, environmental and political themes are recurrent in both representational and non-representational forms. In my current art practice, the paintings are how I look inward into myself, as an intimate investigation of who I am as a person, and the sculptures are how I respond to the world outward, be it a statement or a personal opinion on issues that matter to me personally. 


The paintings selected for this exhibition are based on memory as in a conversation with my past and present self. From a spiritual perspective, who I am at present is the product of the choices I have made and the challenges I had to overcome. Although I would like to leave it open for interpretation, the mix of mediums, collision of colors and movement, the play of positive and negative spaces, and the balance of chaos and control carry symbolic meanings that relate to myself and identity. The broader inquiry through this process is to investigate the role of past memories in a person's mental wellbeing in the present.


Similar to my paintings, the sculpture connects fragments of my past experiences to the world we live in at present. Taking inspiration from the recent events related to race and racial injustices, I turned to look into it through a lens of positivity. It is a celebration of racial diversity where everyone co-exists in harmony.

Bath School of Art and

Bath School of Design

Bath Spa University

Locksbrook Road

01225 875875