BA (Hons) Fine Art (University of Southampton, UK)
MA Education (University of Bath, UK)
Hi, my name is Maziyah Yussof. I'm a visual artist from a tiny country called Brunei Darussalam. I like to think of myself as a Painter, Pattern-Maker, Illustrator, Paper-Cutter, Nature-Lover and Maker of Things. I'm a teacher by day and an artist whenever else I get the chance. I am a mother of a two and my kids inspire a lot of the works that I create. I tend to work within the themes of fertility, nature and Islam.
The subject of my work heavily draws inspiration from our world and its natural order. It is an idealistic and romanticised view of Brunei's landscapes and is often whimsical and dreamlike in tone.
I often reflect upon the perfect ecological balance found in nature and many of my paintings portray the transient, delicate & beautiful balance of nature – that all life forms must be valued and protected.
I portray this concept of order and structure evident in the natural world through pattern-making. The vivid, harmonious and contrasting colour palettes of nature inspire the patterns I create. My process of making art is just as symbolic as the finished product itself. I rely on traditional techniques, as I hand-cut each individual shape. I begin with a blank canvas and a curated assortment of pre-cut shapes which I will further trim down as I progress. The process is meditative, meticulous and adds a spiritual dimension of repetition and contemplation.
I am particularly drawn to the concept of sacred geometry, which is the belief that the perfect shapes that are found in nature - such as a single leaf, a flower or honeycomb is neither random nor accidental; that everything is planned, functional and ultimately signifies the creations of a higher power.
The characteristics and elements of Islamic Art, as well the teaching of Islam has informed my entire practice. In Islamic art, patterns are a representation of the nature of Allah - as it is symbolic for perfection, transcendence and the infinite. In Islam, whatever we do is to glorify Allah and that extends to art.