The SRA’s new artist in residence, oh and their new administrator
For the past few years, living in a sustainable manner has been something that I have tried to practise and execute. Only recently I connected the word ‘sustainable’ to my attitude which I had previously regarded as ‘creativity’. How to live, think and see in a creative way, ergo, how to live, think and see in a sustainable way. I was so fascinated by this concept that I decided to base my research for my masters on this very topic last year through the spectrum of art and philosophy.
When I heard that the Sustainable Restaurant Association were after an administrator, I couldn’t believe my luck, and furthermore I felt even more lucky and privileged that they wanted me to join their team. Life after graduating is never an easy time, but the SRA made possibilities seem so much more plausible and not so far to touch, visions which are somewhat abstracted for someone who is trying to break into the ‘art world’. Even though I have only been with the SRA since November, I have learnt so much on the topic of sustainability and learnt valuable skills which I will forever be grateful for. If there is one thing I can vouch for on behalf of the SRA team, is that these people care. Being their administrator my tasks are to assist them when needed, therefore I have witnessed first hand, the passion that they put into their work which has put faith back into a very sceptical person. I have worked closely beside each member of the team and each and every one of them have their own passionate ideas and personal philosophies which I have found fascinating, and it is in the team’s diversity that I believe makes such a strong team, they have an admirable energy.
Coming from an art background, I thought I would be laughed at when attending the interview for the role as administrator, as many others have, but instead of dismissing me and branding me a useless academic, they welcomed me and my ideas, giving me the opportunity to grow and exercise my full abilities. Though you may think, painting (creativity) and sustainable eating/ dinning lie far from each other, they are not so separate. As a painter the issue of waste distresses me, therefore since we are living life after the ‘postmodern culture’ I see beauty in what others deem trash. I build stretchers for my canvas from abandoned timber in skips and use a vast amount of dumped materials as my canvas. The issues I address within my paintings and writings are all issues which affect our climate and environment; socially, politically, morally and culturally, all issues which I believe lie in the very core of the SRA’s ethos.
So, when I’m not at my easel painting away, I’m at my desk in the middle of Chinatown. If I haven’t introduced myself before, forgive me.
Hello, I’m Şifa, and I’m here to help.