Monday June 24th, 2024
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Egyptian Artist Nadine Mossallam On Finding Solace In Art & Spaces

Beyond country borders, there exists a home within every soul, and for artist and designer Nadine Mossallam, hers is an amalgamation of many homes and an abundance of art.

Ziyad El-Helbawy

Egyptian Artist Nadine Mossallam On Finding Solace In Art & Spaces

The notion of home is one that transcends mere brick and mortar; delving into the realms of the heart and of the soul. For Kuwaiti-Egyptian artist and fashion designer Nadine Mossallam, home extends far beyond conventional boundaries. An amalgamation of memories, experiences and creativity, where art, life, and a sort of ‘broken beauty’ are intertwined, Nadine has discovered a place where her imaginative spirit thrives, and where her perspective on beauty and imperfection finds its truest expression within the walls of her London studio.

Nadine Mossallam, an artist bridging the realms of art and design, epitomizes the essence of crafting a unique home. Her multicultural upbringing, from Kuwait to Dubai, Toronto to London, infuses her artistic spirit with a global perspective. Within her London abode, an old juxtaposing industrial building reminiscent of Toronto's architectural style - characterized by its mix of sleek, glass-fronted skyscrapers and heritage brick buildings that punctuate the skyline - she's created a space that feels both foreign and familiar, much like her journey through life.

“To me, my upbringing was very interesting because you see, I took from life and life gladly gave, I was born in Kuwait, but soon after we had to leave because of the political situation with Iraq. It was very dangerous,” Nadine Mossallam tells SceneHome. “We then moved to Dubai, then Canada, and now I’m in London…”

Born in Kuwait and raised in Dubai, Nadine's early years were infused with a sense of awe and luxury that later helped forge her design aesthetic and eponymous UK-based fashion label. But her journey didn't stop in Dubai. Mossallam's quest for self-discovery led her to Toronto, where she pursued fashion education. Surprisingly, fashion school didn't resonate with her free-spirited, dreamer's soul. "I was a dreamer, and I struggled to tell my story there," she confides. The next stop? London.

"I used to think I would never belong anywhere, until I realized I could fit into so many places…I am a melting pot of everywhere I have ever been," Mossallam says.

With her home in London, an industrial haven that pays homage to the spirit of Toronto, Nadine Mossallam delves into the beauty of brokenness and imperfection. The structure, with its rugged and unpolished exterior, resonates deeply with her philosophy of raw aesthetics. Inside, this once-foreboding space has been transformed into a cozy cocoon, where art and design collide.

Painted a calming white and facing West London, Mossallam’s studio is a minimalist haven of her own. With expansive panel windows illuminating the space with generous natural lighting, the studio fosters a serene warmth that calls for creativity. “I cannot emphasize how much light can affect a space…I wanted the feeling itself to be warm and safe, and that’s where I captured the essence of Egypt,” Mossallam shares.

Laden with minimalist decor, asymmetrical structures, and handmade sculptures by Mossallam, Nadine’s studio is inhabited by pieces that speak to her soul; pieces she hopes speak as well to whoever visits her space. “I lack the sense of home in London and so it’s important to me to have these small things to give me a sense of who and where I am,” Mossallam says. From woven tapestries by Wissa Wassef to eclectic pieces from January Tamarind, and memorabilia from Egypt, Mossallam sought to craft a space reminiscent of her own idea of home.

"I made a deliberate effort to transform my studio into a sanctuary that echoes the essence of home,” Mossallam explains. “My aspiration was to craft a space that feels like a personal sanctuary, akin to a temple. When I open the door, it's as if I enter a trance, stepping into a world of inspiration.”

Nadine Mossallam's London residence serves as a harmonious interfusion of her diverse upbringing, weaving together traces of her life in Toronto, Dubai, Kuwait, Egypt, and the United Kingdom. Within its walls, elements from these various corners of the world coexist, forming a literal tapestry of her multicultural journey. Mossallam has skillfully curated her home to encompass remnants of each place she has called home, resulting in a space that resonates with a rich and layered narrative of her personal and artistic evolution.

"I need to know who I am, where I'm from... and I need to remember that."

And it is in this home that Mossallam pursues her love for art in its rawest form, finding solace and inspiration in her sculpting and fashion design endeavors, where the boundaries of creativity blur and her thoughts and emotions take tangible shape in her unique purposely imperfect creations.

“I find that art is easier for me - I taught myself, I never studied - I just played. Art to me comes from a child-like place of mine - it’s where I'm just simply… a kid,” Mossallam says. “Everything I make is just completely a big mistake that I love - it’s the most raw and pure part of me…”

Embracing a sort of ‘broken beauty’ as Mossallam simply puts it, sculpting is where Mossallam’s innermost psyche comes into play; drawing from her subconscious into the tangible. “When it comes to sculptures; it’s about being messy. Nothing has a structure. I don’t work like most sculptors, I'm not calculated. I want to make something that starts somewhere and ends somewhere entirely else.”

Mosallam’s philosophy on ‘broken beauty’ revolves around her fascination with imperfections and the stories they carry. “If something looked a little bit odd, I would fall in love with it ten times more. If something was old - I just needed to tell its story…” She believes that there's a unique allure in things that deviate from conventional standards of perfection. To her, the charm lies in the quirks, the irregularities, and the scars that tell a tale of history and experience.

Leaving Scene Home with words of wisdom, Mossallam shares; “Beauty to me is in the natural; the organic, the mistakes. And I cannot wait to make more of them.”

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