Alternative Art

We visited henna artist Nina Gore, whilst she showcased her unique masterpieces...

Posted: 26.03.15

Nina Gore, a henna artist who recently exhibited her work at the Long Cloud Cafe London, is truly a breath of fresh air to the art industry. From her body art to her current work on glass, paper and canvas, she’s determined to expand the roots of her talent. She tells Nikita Kharbanda how casually doodling on a piece of card changed her life.

When did you first discover your love for art and henna?
From a young age I was experimenting with art and henna. I used to apply it on different women at functions and my passion grew from there.

You originally started out with applying body art only. What made you expand the range of materials in your work?
I was actually bored at home one day on maternity leave and I grabbed a henna cone and just started doodling on a piece of card. My husband stopped me and told me how great it looked. It sparked off an idea in our heads and it kicked off from there!

And you seemed to have developed a real passion for it?
It gives me a sense of freedom. Body art can sometimes be restrictive. There are limits to what you can do and how far you can go on a person. Using henna freely allows me to experiment with no boundaries.

Your art work is extremely unique. Were people around you always supportive of your career?
My parents knew I was never 'academic', in a sense that my strengths lied in more creative areas. They never pushed me into doing something I didn’t want to do. Community wise I have been given a lot of support and love, and I’m really grateful for that!

Many of your pieces such as 'A Vibrant Peacock' were created from past memories. Do you feel your identity plays an important role in your art?
Definitely. I love vibrant colours and purposely use certain shades and tones to remind me of particular times and important moments in my life.

Do ideas for your art come to you naturally as you work?
Yes. Sometimes it can be the smallest thing like the weather, which will inspire me to base my entire piece on it. I rarely ever plan.

Are you a self taught artist?
Although I have studied art at school and in college, I don’t feel I was necessarily taught it. Technically it helps, but I’m a free spirit and it's just something I was drawn to from a young age.

What difficulties do you experience as an artist, in this day and age?
Initially, it's always difficult to get yourself known as an artist, but there are always things to help you along the way. For example, I attended The New Artist Fair last year for three days and that really helped me build and expand my contacts in the industry.

What other artists have inspired you growing up?
Salvador Dali, a Spanish surrealist painter and Prithvi Soni a famous Bollywood poster painter. An international mix!

What is your favourite medium and why?
I love henna, as it is subtle, but vibrant at the same time. After that, it would have to be oil pastels, just because I love the way you can experiment with colour through them.

Which international art destination would you most like to visit?
New York would be a great destination because of its street art. I would also love to visit and travel Italy.

Do you have any hobbies outside your art work?
I like to read and music has always played a big part of our family life. Apart from that, I’m a mum! So, trying to balance everything is sometimes the biggest challenge!

And lastly what are your future plans for your career?
My future plans would be to keep going and explore areas like interior design. Having my art work in people's homes is something that's always excited and motivated me. The main plan for me is to stay determined though, as nothing great can be achieved without perseverance. 

Find out more about Nina Gore here

Nikita Kharbanda 

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