My Journey

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

I grew up during the 1980s and 90s. 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 and this 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 a year later, with the words of the shahada I accepted Islam as my new faith. 

This opened a new world of creativity to me and 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. 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 showing them how to turn their ideas into reality. The younger generation never ceases to amaze me with their enthusiasm and creativity.

      
  
I practice my art and teaching career side by side. 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. Join me on this journey of discovery.

    

Events - Past and Present.

April 2023 - Present. Regular Stall at Greenwhich Market, London.

I have a regular stall at Greenwhich Arts and Crafts Market. I am there every Thursday. It is the place to come and see all my latest prints, paintings and see me painting LIVE.

It would be great to see you down there. So if your in the area pop down and say hello. We can chat about all things art.

      

November 24th 2019. "Celebrating Arts Festival." ValentinesHigh school, IIlford, London.

This festival was a celebration dedicated to the arts. I showcased my Paintings, Jewellery and Art with Light Collection at the event.

Display - Exhibitions.

26th October 2019. "Creative Minds Festival." Osmani Center London.

This event was organised by Inspirited Minds to highlight issues around positive mental health in the Muslim community. I showcased my Paintings at the event.

Person - Exhibitions.

13th October - 14th October 2018. "Beauty & Faith" Exhibition Hosted by Art House 21 at the Muslim Lifestyle Expo in Event City Manchester.

This two-day exhibition was a showcase of the best in British Islamic Art. A chance to show the world the emerging artistic culture of modern Islam in the United Kingdom.

 

21st November - 21st December 2017. "Blessed Footsteps" Exhibition Hosted by DOT Guild at Rumi's Cave.

I was invited to create a piece of work in response to a poem written by Warren Clementson. I was one of twelve artists who had the same honour of exhibiting as part of the "Blessed Footsteps" exhibition that was put together by The DOT Guild.

 

Human - Exhibitions.

 

28th –31st July 2016. "A Journey Through the World of Islamic Art" Exhibition hosted by Art House 21 at the Living Islam Festival.

Showcasing my Islamic artwork at the Living Islam Festival in Lincoln, I was exhibiting as part of the "A Journey Through the World of Islamic Art" exhibition. The event was put together by Art House 21. I was honoured to exhibit alongside some of the best Muslim artists the UK has to offer.

Human - Exhibitions.

 

15th July 2015. Al Jazeera Documentary. 

On the 15th July 2015 I was featured in a short documentary film made by Domino Films. It was shown on Al Jazeera's Documentary Channel. The series ran over the thirty days of Ramadan and focused on European artists that created art heavily influenced by Islamic design.
  

11th - 17th March 2013. Featured Artist at the Scottish Islamic Art Festival.

My very first exhibition took place in Scotland. I was invited to exhibit a selection of my work during the Islam Awareness Week event in Glasgow at the Scotland Street Museum. Focusing on the things we have in common the event was aimed at highlighting the commonalities between the Muslim and non-Muslim communities in Scotland. Because of the unique focus of my work I was asked to contribute to the event.

Art - Exhibitions.