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Life At Chelsea: Nazifa Hussain – MA Interior and Spatial Design


Written by
Gavin Freeborn
Published date
24 October 2018

Continuing our Life At Chelsea series, we interview students about their experiences at Chelsea has shaped their practice and led to new opportunities.

We caught up with Nazifa Hussain MA Interior and Spatial Design 2018.

Portrait of the artist

Please tell us how your work has developed during your time at Chelsea

My work has become more experimental in its uses of materials and techniques, thanks to the excellent 3D workshops at Chelsea.

What did you work on for the summer show? 

I worked on a series of investigative transcript drawings that break down layers of surfaces from the infamous Millbank Prison which was previously on the site before the Royal Army Medical College building, where Chelsea is now located.

What has your inspiration been for your work?

My inspiration for this project has been being able to experiment with different techniques to capture histories from surfaces.

Detailed image of a surface

Who or what has been your biggest influence during your time at Chelsea?

Two of my biggest influences have been Jorge Otero-Pailo who created the piece “Ethics of Dust” and Rachael Whiteread’s Memories and Casting.

In what ways has the workshop / studio / gallery environment informed your practice during your time at Chelsea?

I came to Chelsea because of the wide variety of facilities which are available to all students. For example, the casting workshop was one which I used a lot to learn different techniques and skills to manipulate materials.

Photograph of the studio space

What makes you proud to be a Chelsea student?

Being a Chelsea student allows you to have access to various exhibitions including ones at the Tate Britain, which is next door. The staff are extremely supportive and helpful especially when you are starting to struggle with how to go forward in developing your practice!

What would you say to anyone thinking of doing your course? Any advice for new students?

Make sure you make use of all the workshops. There are a lot of supportive staff and I would recommend making yourself familiar to them early on so you’re able to learn a variety of different techniques to help you develop your practice. One huge benefit of the workshops is that you will meet different students from all around the college, so you are able to learn different skills from one another.

My Chelsea in three words? Enjoyable, motivating and ambitious.

See more of Nazifa’s work on her website or Instagram

Explore work by more students at 

Find out more about MA Interior & Spatial Design