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Life at Chelsea: Shazia Salam – Graduate Diploma Fine Art


Written by
Frances Bailey
Published date
03 July 2018

Our Graduate Diploma courses at Chelsea College of Arts are a full time, one year programme enabling students to develop their practice to progress to further study at Masters Level or pursue a career within their chosen specialism. Students from a rich variety of backgrounds and experiences make up our Graduate Diploma courses.

We caught up with Shazia Salam on the work she has been creating over the last year on Graduate Diploma Fine Art.

“My time at Chelsea has allowed my practice to be more research-led. Coming from an architectural background, I was always interested in design and materials; however, the workshops at Chelsea gave me the opportunity to experiment in new ways and visually translate that research.

An installation of transparent fabric on a wall, Shazia Salam, Graduate Diploma Fine Art, 2018

“For the degree show, I created a sculpture titled ‘’. My practice investigates the displacement of cultural identity in a globalized world. The piece is a result of my exploration of multiculturalism in London and looking at spaces where this “hybridity” in cultural identity can manifest.

“My process is influenced by the experience of people who’ve been displaced voluntarily or reluctantly from their common identity and adopted bits and pieces to create a transcultural individuality. London is a highly multicultural society and my research for this piece involves exploring its different boroughs to find a “third space” where culture is mixed and transformed.

Instructions how to play a game in six steps.
Instructions: Play, Shazia Salam, Graduate Diploma Fine Art, 2018

“By the end of the second term, a couple of friends and I from the Graduate Diploma Fine Art course started a collective called the 5in5. The collective is an experiment with some definite and non-definite goals. One of the more definite goals: 5 exhibitions in 5 months – across London. This project aims at dealing with the practical challenges of developing an artistic practice. It involves looking for art spaces, to curate, organise and collaborate with artists to create interesting shows around London. We’ve organized 3 shows so far with the penultimate show coming up on July 13th at Stour Space in Hackney Wick. Showing my work among other students from the Graduate Diploma Fine Art course never failed to inspire and challenge me.

“The increasing categorization of people and the popularity of focusing on cultural identity in politics has led my research in the critique of nationalism. I’m eager to see where it leads my practice after graduation.

Two red pieces of paper with writing on
Instructions: Play, Shazia Salam, Graduate Diploma Fine Art, 2018

“Finally, the opportunities to visit exhibitions from all kinds of art, design and even historic institutions was one of the highlights of studying in London. Moreover, living in a city that people from different backgrounds call home has given me access to an abundance of diverse perspectives.”

See more of Shazia’s work on her website and Instagram

See more from Shazia and our other graduating students on

Find out more about Graduate Diploma Fine Art