who i am
My name is Shaheen Kasmani, and I am a surface pattern and textile designer. My background is in language, literature and education, and I have always had an interest and a love for the visual arts. I graduated from The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in London, completing my MA in Visual Islamic Traditional Arts, in 2014. My specialism is in surface pattern and textile design, principally using traditional patterns and motifs, in both conventional and contemporary contexts. I like my work to be part of telling a story. It could be celebrating something long forgotten, exploring a theme or idea, or a reclamation of the narrative from those who have hijacked or imposed their own upon others. My work is about history, heritage, culture and conversation, and I strongly believe in the power of learning and education.
What I do
I work with patterns, prints, paintings, on paper and fabric, and other surfaces too. I mainly work by hand, using pencil, paper and colour to come up with initial sketches to develop into designs. I work with traditional sacred geometry and symmetry, stylised floral forms (also known as islimi, arabesque and biomorphic) and also more contemporary designs.
I can conceptualise and design the surface pattern for one off bespoke products, as well as seasonal collections. Traditional yet on trend, and with a unique and faithful flavour. A lot of my inspiration comes from my travels around the globe, as well as designs in nature and architecture, from the smallest wildflower to the grandest edifice, and I love to work with colour and texture.
Recent commissions include Translation Games, a project for Queen Mary’s and King’s College University of London, a set of hand block printed art pieces and silk scarves for visiting dignitaries at the last World Muslim Leadership Forum conference, designs for SEP Jordan, unique bespoke pieces and hand printed greeting cards and t-shirts to raise awareness about social justice issues.
A qualified teacher, I also deliver workshops on Islamic geometry, pattern making and textile printing. Workshops can be catered for any size group, abilities and ages. Teaching and learning is integral to my daily practice, get in touch if you would like to make a booking or find out more:)