Natasha Mann decided to apply to the School having spent a year in Fes studying traditional Moroccan painting on wood, known as 'Zouaq'. Zouaq artists now no longer use natural pigments and the knowledge of how to create geometric patterns by hand with a compass is dying out. Natasha realised that the M.A. Programme would offer a unique opportunity to study geometry and learn about traditional techniques that have been lost in many parts of the world.
During the course, a range of different art modules is taught, enabling students to gain a wide variety of skills as well as an understanding of the principles underlying traditional arts. Her time at the School allowed Natasha to explore Zouaq painting in a way that she could never have done on her own or in Morocco. She has learnt to see traditional Moroccan art in the context of a wider philosophy that underpins all traditional arts and this has given her the freedom to develop her own art whilst respecting and preserving traditional techniques.
Looking ahead, ss well as making her own work, Natasha's intention is to continue painting and studying Moroccan geometric designs to rediscover lost techniques and to preserve this knowledge for future generations.
Natasha received a distinction for her M.A. and was awarded the Barakat Prize for Islamic Art. Natasha is a Radcliffe Trust grantee, Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) Scholar and now works from her studio at Cockpit Arts, Holborn. She recently took part in a group exhibition in Los Angeles at the Seyhoun Gallery.