Nazeem Darbey

We welcomed Nadeem to our guild meeting this week.

Nazeem’s bio tells us that she is an artist and story teller who explores the relationship between drawing and textiles. She creates unique ‘hollow drawings’ and 3D installations using her sewing machine as her drawing instrument. Nazeem’s objective is to let her drawings leave the page so that 2D drawings become 3D sculptures. Lucky for us, she has her studios near Halifax in Keighley.

She told us she fell in love with her sewing machine at college!

When she draws, she likes to work from original sources such as museum items. Nazeem spent time working at Cliffe Castle museum exhibits. Here is her nest of woodpeckers. Nazeem calls these pieces ‘study skins’, and many are about 3 times life size.

Working with water soluble fabric, she pins the work out so that it doesn’t bunch and buckle when washing. She has perfected her technique to leave just a little of the glue in the threads so that the work retains some rigidity once washed.

Nazeem has spent time researching Marie Louise Roosevelt Burke Butterfield, of Cliffe Hall (to become Cliffe Castle Museum). You can find out more here.

This social history collection allowed her to develop text from letters, and interpretations of items of clothing such as a bodice in order to bring a character to life.

She found a phrase in one such letter particularly poignant. ‘Do write to me if your heart is not nailed to Cliffe Hall’ was the inspiration for a 3D heart sculpture.

Tiara below. Nazeem described the dangling threads equating to the left over bits of charcoal and pencils when one is drawing…

Nazeem talked about the use of foam blocks and piecing to create the sculptures, and showed us a few of her samples.

Following a period of illness, her work has developed into studies of the human body, and close work looking at flesh and how it changes. These pieces contain both colour and light. The fibre optics and LED lights change and cycle, hidden in the folds and fabric. Nazeem is supported by a technician to produce the supporting electrical arrays within their bases.

Nazeem is working on ‘monumental, habitable’ pieces. She has Arts Council Funding to work with a mentor on up-scaling her work over the coming months and we look forward to hearing how that develops.

You can find her at

Do look out on our Facebook page for more member’s work, following Nazeem’s workshop with the guild this weekend.

1 thought on “Nazeem Darbey

  1. Naseem is a fantastic speaker. I thoroughly enjoyed her presentation-what an amazing talent! She was so enthusiastic and clearly full of brilliant ideas for the future. Thanks also to Rachael for the blog!! A great job!

    Liked by 1 person

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