Nishan :: Intuitive Artist

Nishan at work
From her earliest years growing up in Germany, Nishan has been using painting as a form of self-expression. These days, many countries and years later, she calls Port Antonio home. Still, like a true Intuitive, this self-taught artist continues to create art that is entirely her own. I visited her home studio on Monday. Here's some of what she had to say:

Prêt-à-Portie: When and how did you start painting? 

Nishan: I've always felt that self-made gifts are so much better than buying something. So when I was little, I'd always make something or paint something for my grandmother and grandfather. It was always fun for me to play with the colours. It's really an emotional outlet for me. So I paint to digest or process emotional experiences whether its something beautiful or traumatic. 

PaP: How would you describe your style of painting?

Nishan: I like to call it soul-painting because it reflects what's touching me. It's a surprising and exciting process because I'm never sure what I'm going to end up with.  

PaP:  Why did you relocate to Jamaica, and Port Antonio in particular?

Nishan: I fell in love with Jamaica when I first visited with my mother and the rest of my family many years ago. Since then, I've lived in Morocco, Mexico, South Italy and Belize. I knew though that I wanted my children to grow up in a wonderful climate and with some amount of freedom. Jamaica was the best place for this. Yes, there is the so-called 'hell and struggling' here, but there is also a lot of joy and blessing and paradise. Port Antonio is special because it is the one place I feel most free to be myself. I like that the pace is slower than the rest of Jamaica and it's almost stress-free. It is this blissful side that I want to express in my paintings.

Oshun, 3x2 1/2 ft, acrylic on plyboard
PAP: Who are your favourite artists?

Nishan: I'd have to say Pen Cayetano the Garifuna painter and musician from Belize. I especially love his earlier work, while he was still living in Belize. When I lived there over 20 years ago I had the joy of watching him work and he was amazing. He often did multiple paintings at once and would skip from one to the other while the paint dried. Very inspiring figure for me.

PAP: What other artforms do you practice?

Nishan: I started jewellery-making more recently, about 7 years ago. I work with silver and mixed media like leather and African beads which I get directly from the Africans whenever I go to Paris.

You can see more of Nishan's work here, or you can see her work on exhibit at Goblin Hill Villas from May 23-29.

Light Years, 3x2 1/2 ft, acrylic on plyboard


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