Image: Ikat scarf. Rezia Wahid. Winner of Ella McLeod Production Award. Courtesy of Rezia Wahid.
If, with a single breath, you blow all the seeds off a dandelion, then the person you love will love you back. At least, that’s a traditional belief in the UK. For others, dandelions help to tell the time, or predict the weather.
For Rezia Wahid, that tiny moment of air and light as a humble dandelion released its seeds into the air, inspired a creative journey. Capturing the seeds in a clear container, she began to write her feelings in a sketchbook— and her artistic voice was born.
Image: Dandelion. Rezia Wahid. Courtesy of Rezia Wahid.
Fast forward— and Rezia Wahid, MBE, is celebrated for delicate, ethereal, and tranquil woven creations, in fine cotton, linen, silk, and wool. Her natural fabrics echo that magical moment.
Image: Solo show at the Craft Study Centre. Courtesy of Rezia Wahid.
To capture light and air, her preferred choices of yarn are organzine, spun silk, filament, and gummed silks. All of them are hand dyed, mostly with natural dye stuff. Colour is used sparingly and selectively— Wahid aims to tell stories, yet maintain that delicate visual balance.
Image: Detail of The Gift. Rezia Wahid. Courtesy of Rezia Wahid.
For Wahid, the texture, colour, form, and shapes of textiles communicate cultural, religious, social, and political history. Her cloths, she says, capture and represent her memories, travel, literature, nature, old masters, the art of weaving, and concrete experiences of Britain, Islam, and motherhood.
Image: Rezia Wahid at her loom, weaving Ikat. Courtesy of Rezia Wahid. Photo: Paula Smith
‘They represent the sanctity, beauty and serenity of nature and light, and are the revival of cultural form and technique with a contemporary approach.’
Image: Divine Light project with calligraphy 2017. Courtesy of Rezia Wahid. Photo: Annour Alilahi