My Story

"Art and Design are two heads of the same creature of human self-expression." - Ian Garrett.


So where do I begin? I guess the beginning is the best place. I grew up in Southeast London during the 1980s and 1990s. I loved cartoons and Sci-Fi. Art in some form has always been a major part of my life. I would spend hours drawing and sketching the characters and machines out of comic books. In Secondary school my interest deepened as I discovered Surrealism, Pop Art and the Avent Garde. I studied Art at GCSE and then at A level. Then when I was 17 I got the chance to do it for real when I was accepted on a six week apprenticeship in ceramics in 1996. It was from this point on that I new I needed to do something creative with my life!

17 year old me during my apprenticeship.    My ceramic work. 

Over the next few years my life changed. In 1997 I met the lady who would eventually become my wife and found her religion and culture enthralling, I learned as much as I could. Then in 1998, at Peckham Mosque, with the words of the shahada and I accepted Islam as my new faith. 

This opened a new world of creativity to me and I began to produce work that fused both of the cultures my life now inhabited. So, I turned to art to explore my new life as a British Muslim. I found out that I could no longer draw people or animals as a practicing muslim so I began to dabble with the concept of fusing Celtic Knotwork and Islamic Geometry. In 2013 I was invited to Glasgow, Scotland to be the featured Artist for the Scottish Islamic Art Festival.

The art of Ian Garrett at the Scottish Islamic Art Festival 2013.  

This was followed up by more joint exhibitions. "A Journey through the World of Islamic Art" exhibition at Living Islam Festival in 2016 and the "Beauty and Faith" exhibition held at the Muslim Lifestyle Expo in Manchester 2018.  Each event helped me to build my confidence in my work.

Along the way, I have met many exceptional artists who continue to inspire me. Farah Soobhan and Teakster to name a few. I am honoured to have exhibited alongside them and honoured to be forging a new standard of British Islamic art with them.

Clothing - Let me Introduce myself. 

Today I am a Design & Technology Teacher working in a local Secondary School. I feel very privileged to help and guide our young people to develop an understanding of Art, Design, and technology while at the same time show them how to turn their ideas into reality. The younger generation never ceases to amaze me with their enthusiasm and creativity. it really is a fun, rewarding profession. 

Person - Let me Introduce myself.

I practice my art alongside my education career. My work has grown into a reflection of my faith and my fascination of science, astronomy, and a love of the natural world. I primarily work with acrylic on canvas, painting Landscapes, landmarks, and space. My paintings explore the relationship between humanity and nature. Fuelled by a desire to explore our place in the universe, filtered through my understanding of the teachings of the Quran. Art has become the way I process the world around me.