Nyulla Safi creates multi-layered works emotionally charged with hidden motifs and meanings.
Tell us a little about yourself, your practice, your processes…
Born in Montmartre Paris, then migrated to Australia. I realised my dream, and joined the Australian Army.
I began painting as a means of therapy for injuries and PTSD that I acquired during my service.
My work is not beholden to one particular category or style. I feel doing so only limits your ability to express your passion, desires, and inner turmoil.
Life is my inspiration and ultimately that dictates my style.
The emotion in my work has attracted the attention of two publishers in London. Consequently, my work appeared in international art publications in November 2019.
I generally paint when my emotions are most intense.
What are you working on at the moment?
I have been working on a painting for Japan Paralym Art World Cup 2020. The painting is called Meraki.
Meraki is a word that modern Greeks often use to describe doing something with soul, creativity, or love — when you put “something of yourself” into what you’re doing.
Describe a typical workday – whatever that means for you.
For me there is no such thing as a workday, it depends when my hand and heart tell me they want to paint. When that happens all of my paints are scattered across the floor, as I am never sure what I am going to paint or what colours to use. I prepare my canvas and allow my hand to go free. I decide on the colours as I go along. I can change the image/painting ten times along the way then I am surprised at what appears on my canvas.
I am very much inspired by music. It helps me switch off and it speaks to my emotions.
I especially listen to Ennio Morricone’s Le Vent, Le Cri (the wind, the scream), Chi Mai le professional by Ennio Morricone, La lune Brille pour toi by Divino and Jealous Guy by John Lennon. I connect to the emotions of these tunes and go into my own world not to be disturbed under any circumstances.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?
As a child I spent an afternoon searching for a four leaf clover amongst the garden of our family home in Paris, upon finding one I presented it to my grandfather who told me “there are highs and lows in life but, you have the heart and strength of one hundred men, never loose that for they will see you through during the times when life throws your way darkness. The four leaf clover is within you”
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