ROSIE MEETS ...
Born in Wales with Yemeni and Bangladeshi heritage, she is known for her expressive, bold aesthetic and for taking stories of community gatekeepers full circle, from the canvas to the streets. Karimah creates live paintings at performance events in London and New York to highlight the importance of urban communities.
Having a sense of community is very important to you, where do you feel most at home?
I feel most at home in my own skin.
I know it’s so cliche but this body is my moving caravan. I’ve learnt that when I’m comfortable in my body and where I’m at, I can make anywhere feel like home. At heart I’m a nomad and I connect to everyone I meet. That kind of free spirited nature got me into trouble sometimes but most times it’s brought me surprise, wonder, delight and creativity.
What are the staple pieces in your closet that you know you’ll love forever?
A leather jacket and jean combo in all the ways that they come. I’m very thoughtful and minimal about what I put in my closet because I’m so nomadic which is why I love my Leather jackets because I buy one to last a lifetime.
I also love a good combat shoe whether it’s a cute beige canvas style army boot or a classic doctor marten because that they can be teamed with something feminine like a silk skirt or dress and add a little grungeness.
Your paintings are very eclectic, they go from very colorful and hopeful to darker and more mysterious, where do you get inspired?
A lot of it comes from observation; either from watching the plot line of my own life or tuning into the ongoing of others. I find humans incredibly fascinating and I perceive so many emotions and narratives of humanity simply by watching and listening. I think that’s why I love big cities and nature - the two opposites, because one is filled with stories and the other sharpens my senses so I can be more imaginative.
What’s your favorite way to express your creativity?
I absolutely love painting, poetry and writing- it keeps me sane and I love surprising myself at the images or sentences I didn’t even know I had stored in my imagination.
Who are your favorite artists? (Can be fashion, painting,musicians)
I have SO MANY. Just a few of my favorite painters are Faith Ringold, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Cecily Brown, Matisse, Amrita Sher-Gil, Basquiat, Michael Armitage.
My favorite poets and musicians are Rumi, Robert Glasper, J Dilla, Pharrell, India Airie, D’Angelo, Hafez, Jamiroquai, Jordan Rakei, Common, Miles Davis, Amir Sulaiman, and not to mention countless vocalists, dancers and pianists but I’ll stop there!