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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 is based on the idea of symbiotic and parasitic relationships between organic and inorganic, tangible and spiritual things. By observing nature, people, and also the relationship of the man-made and the natural environment, I imitate such occurrences and bridge these ideas together through abstraction. 


In my current body of work, the paintings start with chance and spontaneity, much like a situation that I mindlessly created, that needs to be resolved. This requires accepting, reflecting and responding. The intentional balance of chaos and control that is achieved in a painting equates to finding clarity of individual thoughts within a chaotic mind that is being consciously observed in meditation, a practice that indirectly influence my work.


The mix of mediums, multiple transparent layers of paint, collision of colours and movement, push and pull, along with the play of positive and negative spaces create new forms; new forms that are only suggestive but not definite. These elements are only recognized through life experiences and familiarities. The ambiguous nature of the work welcomes different interpretations by its viewers. However, as the maker, the marks I make have symbolic associations to a past memory, a thought or aspirations that are yet to be achieved. 

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