@NPTCGroup students from the school of Creative, Visual, and Performing Arts have been incredibly busy through the pandemic as well as Summer break. Safiyyah Altaf, Dione Jones, and Isabella Coombs all created and contributed content to the magazine @JustMyCupofTeamag 

The magazine is an uplifting read with artwork and poem features, along with quotes from contributors talking about their favourite things to do in life. Safiyyah tells us about how she came to be featured:

“I had already created the artwork and poetry before I came across the magazine through social media. The aesthetic of the magazine was so encouraging and beautiful, that I wanted to share my work with them. I sent my work to the creators and they came back with positive feedback and included me in the ‘Summer Skies’ issue which I was so happy about.” 

The magazine has become a great way for students to embark on a little self-exploration during lockdown, a time where many become quite stressed and isolated. Encouraging healthy habits and the positive sides of lockdown, Safiyyah goes on to describe her experience:

“The poetry and piece of artwork that went with it were inspired by my time at the beginning of lockdown. Where suddenly all this build-up of work and socialising suddenly came to a stop and I couldn’t go anywhere but around the land behind and around my house with no contact with other people. I was quite stressed and nervous about spending time in lockdown but daily journaling with art and poetry helped. As well as the weaving with found materials which were also included in the magazine.“

“The tree then symbolises this feeling of being caged but still finding projects and moments where I can grow out of the boundaries of lockdown and develop my artistic practice individually. The imagery of rocks and cages and foraged art materials within the poem and sketch are inspired by the walks that I was able to do which helped to ease the pining for not being able to see the people that meant the most to me, whilst also finding a new connection with nature and the environment. The magazine was a great opportunity to get my expressions out into a community which shares the same feelings as me. Which provided a great sense of hope and joy to the artistic community throughout this lockdown.”

Dione also had her artwork featured in the magazine

She explains the inspirations for her style:

“In these pieces I explore my complicated relationship with Femininity, self-expression and identity. I work predominantly with self-portraits as my work usually centres around my own thoughts and feelings, this is where I get my inspiration from. These mixed-media pieces play on femininity and the imagery we are accustomed to seeing from a young age. We are taught to see femininity and masculinity as these two binary opposites.

I had all these feelings I didn’t think were ‘feminine’. Turning myself into a doll in ‘Doll Parts’ sort of directly and slightly comedically expresses this, wanting to control my appearance as if I was an object to myself and strived to please the eyes of others. Whereas in ‘Eyes For You’ it addresses how often girls unknowingly perform in a way to feel ‘feminine’ and ‘pretty’.

I’m fascinated with dolls and how, from a young age, these are toys given to girls innocently enough but how ultimately, they symbolise something perhaps darker; unattainable and unrealistic beauty and perfection. I wanted these pieces to be so pink and soft that they are sort of sickly, showing how this softness is shoved in our faces from a young age.”

Another contributor was Isabella, who sent illustrations and quotes to the magazine editors

The Head of School for Creative, Visual and Performing Arts, Victoria Burroughs, spoke about her past students:

“The School of Creative, Visual & Performing Arts was so pleased to hear that Safiyyah’s artwork and poem had been published by the on-line magazine ‘Just My Cup of Tea’.  This really demonstrates Safi’s determination, commitment and talent that she has always shown throughout her A Level in Textiles, co-ordinated and taught by Lecturer, Sarah Holmes.  Safi has a very promising career ahead of her in the Creative Industries and we were also very pleased to see Safi’s work being published next to past CVP students, Dione Jones and Isabella Coombs.  Well done and best of luck Safi with your degree studies in Surface Pattern Design at Swansea College of Art (UWTSD).”

Want to know more? You can get a digital copy of the magazine here.

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