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Student Voices

Student Spotlight | Nadia Adni

By UALHalls 02 Oct 2023

Meet Nadia, a first year Fine Art student at Chelsea.

Her practice is primarily focused on human form and deterioration and her medium of choice is oil paints.

As a British-Algerian woman, her paintings speak on her experiences of detachment with peers and culture and navigating the world with both cultures as well as more personal works on life experiences.

❗️Trigger Warning - The following Student Spotlight article contains artists descriptions which include mention of sensitive topics such as sexual assault. If you would like to view Nadia's artwork only, you can view it on our Instagram @UAL_HallsLife.

If you need someone to talk to about any of the topics mentioned in this article, you can reach out to UAL Student Services for help and support. This includes mental health support (and a 24-hour mental health service), counselling services, and the Tell Someone programme.

“Regardez moi!” - Oil on Paper, 80x60cm

a close up of a person's face

"Utilising fine reliefs of oil paint to achieve this mosaic like image, the subject gazes away from the invading glare of the viewer.

Exploring the idea of shame in eastern and Muslim cultures, "Regardez moi!" explores my personal conflict with individual faith and belief and cultural customs of female shame and modesty in regard to my own upbringing and my navigation of such throughout my adolescence."

“Phrases in Spaces” - Oil on Canvas, 90cm

a close up of a bowl

Delving into abstraction, the subject finds herself morphed into a beastial form.

Exploring body dysmorphia, the subject clenches to her face surrounded by a background representational of the inside forms of a brain with the plastered phrase of “Puny” depicting the social pressures leading to her compulsions and mental decay. 

“Clench to stay awake” - Oil on Canvas, 150x100cm 

a close up of two women with hands around them

"Clench to stay awake" depicts two subjects, one with an alerted “awake” expression and the other tranquil and “asleep”.

Exploring the psychological effects of sexual assault, my work explores the detriment of enduring such trauma. With hands surrounding the subject and the two states pushes together in the confines of the canvas, the subject's eyes speak to reach out.

Yet, pressed with societal taboo and convention, concealing and hiding away such trauma leads to deterioration of the sound mind shifting between both the alerted state and the derealised state. 

“I am not who I am when I am A-sleep” - Photography

a woman sitting on a bed

Following on from “Clench to stay awake”, the subject finds herself in a microcosm of her own personal comforts as means to appease and distract from the pressing force of her abuse causing psychological deterioration depicted in the double exposure of eyes, almost plastered onto her face. 

“Words on The Wall” - Oil on Canvas, 150x100cm 

A woman on the floor of a bathroom

"Words on the wall" depicts its subject in a bathroom, with rough skin textures and vacant eyes.

The subject finds themselves loosing grasp on who they once were, driven by a compulsion to harm oneself and faced with the pressures of social convention, depicted through the plastering of the word “rotten” on the tiled surface.

The faint double casting overlay depicts the subject's sense of detachment and depersonalization.

“Womb” - Oil on Canvas, 150x100cm

a close up of a person looking towards the camera

Exploring the concealment of deterioration, the image shows a subject isolated in a metaphorical sea of self-inflicted deterioration.

Blinded by her compulsions, her hand pushes the viewer away from entering her world. With alerted eyes and a spiraled hand, she slowly loses grasp of reality, falling deeper and deeper into herself, isolated from a world away from her own suffering. 

If you want to follow Nadia or check more of her work, make sure to follow her Instagram

Do you have a story to tell, or are you working on a project that you'd like to share? Our Student Spotlight series is just the place for you! For more information, DM us (@UAL_HallsLife) on Instagram. We'd love to hear from you!