Monday, April 1, 2013


I met Najjah Edwards (AKA Still Waters) at my exhibition stand during Black History Month which took place in Wembley stadium in October 2011. Wilde International Network stand was close to mine so she was able to  see my work, and after chatting for some time and looking through all she bought a signed SHIRIACHUART framed print ‘Nurture’. Then, she told me about a project she’d like for me to collaborate with her. A project she had been wanting to do for many years but was looking out for the right artist. I was touched she felt I was the right artist!
A month or so later, we met for coffee and a chat. She told me she’d been working on the idea of having her poetry painted and would love me to paint them. She recited a number of them for me then and I was a little taken aback by their erotic nature and very much interested in the concept!

I thought deeply and felt her poetry, whilst raunchy and erotic, were not vulgar and explicit and if done well the concept was very enlightening and challenging and the paintings could be done very tastefully. I said yes to the commission and said I would do 10 pieces and they would all have to be the same size so there is some uniformity amongst them. She agreed.

I got to work. First I was to choose my favourite 10 out of the 20 poems she had given me to go through. I took about 2 weeks of just digesting them and not doing any painting – and this was on purpose! I read her poems over and over again until I grasped the essence of each one. Then, painting began.

It was a very exciting moment as I picked up my paintbrush to make the first strokes of a piece of art inspired from the words.

I worked diligently on my pieces, always asking myself whether I was capturing the essence of the poetry!

Here, I present two. I will present the poetry, then my painting and a combination of the two - what we have coined 'PoetryArt'. 

What makes me beautiful?
The smile that I wear,
The shells in my hair,
The colour of my eyes,
The beauty in my stride,
The way that I speak,
The sensuousness in my speech,
The passion I have for my faith that I keep,
The essence,
The curves of my breast,
My shape when I’m dressed.

My visual interpretation is this;

Combined art forms to create this unique PoetryArt limited edition print;
What makes me beautiful.

The second art piece I present now is called 'Blind obsession' which most women can all relate to at one point.

Blind obsession
Under my skin are the
Uncontrolled emotions,
and soundproof cries.
I am the victim of my own voice.
I vote
for no Romeo and Juliet story.
This private conversation
fills my genetic being as I sleep.
Swollen in my deepness are the rivers of
dialects And disturbances,
from the new and outdated stories of
the betrayal of men, their lies and love affairs
and miss match relationships.
I wake; I step back into my own mystery.
I shrink thoughts dreams and try to feed affection.
To love again.
My face focuses closer.
My mind the actress in my own genre.
I will not swim into streams of manipulation.
I won’t allow the current of any sea to overflow
and lead me into it’s traumas.
I will not live with any man’s unfurnished future
I’ll keep on licking the moisture of me,
my lips
and bap the shades of my droopy eyes
and watch the waters flicker and flicker.
Until I seek and find
the likeness of a naturalist
who’s texture I’II have no need to change.
Then and only then.
I will create the flesh for fidelity
to love again

My visual interpretation is this;

Combined art forms to create this unique PoetryArt limited edition print;
Blind obsession.

Having worked on the paintings in 2011 and 2012, this February just gone, it really was time to launch PoetryArt; THE EXHIBITION. We did this by organizing a week long exhibitno at The Tabernacle in Nottinghill, London.

Valentine period seemed the most ideal time to launch this selection of PoetryArt pieces due to the nature of the subject. We titled the event as PoetryArt The launch - Post Valentine's Jazz.

The opening and closing party were great - Najjah recited some of her pieces to the audience who asked for more and more!! There were sells and some great comments were made...

A few comments from some of guests at the exhibition opening.

Beautiful! The paintings really express the heart of the poems. Brilliant work by both artists. Saint Urie 15.02.2013

Interesting concept. The poetry align well with the visual art. DJ Bemi 22.02.2013

A vibrant and sensual collection. I certainly can relate to the images and the words. Passion is a beautiful thing! Rose Marie Jones 22.02.2013

Inspiring, sensitive and beautiful works of art - like the almagamation of words to the picture - poetic indeed! Keep up the good work. Angela Constable 23.02.2012

Heart and soul, spirit in words and on canvas. Envoking, enlightening, insightful and pure. Love it. Christopher. General manager at The Tabernacle
Najjah's thoughts on the collaboration;
After emailing Shiri 20 pieces of my work I was there holding on with excitement, this is what I wanted to do for a long time, but could not find the right artist. It's an old concept, but I think it's something that works well. Out of the 20 pieces Shiri chose 10 that she felt she liked, mind you I would not have selected the 10 she did, but she's the artist.
Blind Obsession is all about love and what women go through, when I wrote this piece I could see her mind only, just didn't visualise a room etc. Shiri analysed the piece well a woman in a laying down position no eyes to see, nothing to give too much. I have to say that this is good so there is more imagination for the mind of the person view. What Makes me beautiful she painted her in the shade and a slim woman small breast and dark skinned in a dark shade. My words give you all but the paintings don't, most of them don't. discover is another one that.....
In all, when I first observed Shiri's art work of my poetry, I was taken back as I could feel the emotions in most of the paintings, and was able to link most of the poems to the paintings. There was only one piece that I didn't think worked well enough- the painting for 'Superficial'. However, it's one that has grown on me with time. As its so different from the rest of paintings, but it has given me ideas for another project.
The paintings for Blind Obsession, Untamed Love, Inside My Dream, What makes me beautiful, Discover are the ones that I truly love. I do love the way that Shiri works.   
SHIRIACHUART and Najjah Edwards From Wilde International Network – sell limited edition prints of all 10 PoetryArt pieces. The link for this will be provided soon.

Thank you for reading!! Please leave your comments on the collaboration below.... and on my interpretation of the two pieces presented.