Q & A with Zarah Cassim

Q & A with Zarah Cassim



1. What would you say makes your style identifiable and unique?

My use of thin layers of oil paint and thinners which create stains on the canvas. Layer upon layer of paint built up in certain areas to create rich dark areas, contrasting with the soft areas where I’ve used less paint. This creates a sense of depth and a moody quality within my landscapes which I think would make my style identifiable. These spaces are not painted from images or life but rather from my mind and they therefore have a surreal and dreamlike quality.

2. What are your artistic (and other) goals for the future?

I hope to expand my artistic practice and explore other creative outlets beyond oil paint. I’ve started working with sculptural forms and shapes. I would hate to limit myself and would like to push my practice. I’m also working on a hotel project in Paris with my husband, which includes lots of collaboration with other artists and creatives.

3. What is your go-to place or activity if you need to rest or escape from the pressures and business of life?

I thought I would say that my go-to place is the natural landscape, but if I’m being completely honest with myself, it is both the natural landscape and my dreams. I love letting my mind wonder and seeing where it takes me, trusting my subconscious and exploring endless possibilities.

4. What drives you as an artist?

I am driven by the need to create and to explore. I love the tactile quality required for my practice, the touch of the paint on the paper, the dripping of the thinners on the canvas, the spontaneous shapes and forms that stain the canvas, and the physical movement of painting. I love the discovery of a new place and exploring something that existed only in my mind.

5. What’s the most valuable lesson you have learnt on your journey as an artist?

I’ve learnt to trust my gut and my instinct and to be sincere in my practice. I do want to sacrifice my creativity for business. Being true to myself in this industry, means working with people I respect and trust, and who value the same principles.

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