top of page


Featuring Shiela Samsuri, Xeem Noor and Cassielelolea in collaboration with nature

Starting off the year with Shiela, Xeem and Cassielelolea as they are nudged along by nature’s cues and prompts to reflect introspectively.

See you at the opening reception, or anytime during the exhibition to see what’s the fuss about clouds, poppies and grass. ☁️ 🌺 🏃


Clouds are fluffy, heavy and teary.

It has been a decade since my former architectural tutor asked us to routinely stroll along the River Thames with an objective to find a ‘quotidian rhythm of lines’ from a walking and observing ritual; to discover that daily life has outlines that define it. If we had time and head space to look long enough, we should be able to discover these outlines and perhaps other ‘in between lines’, a rhythm of daily life.

10 years have passed and honestly, I still do not have a true idea of what he meant, but I often find myself going back to the thought premise. What if the outlines that shape and define daily life are me?


Clouds are a form of air and water that is constantly changing depending on its environment. It has no definitive physical outlines, yet people see clouds in physical forms and call it names; stratus, cumulus, cumulonimbus (or rainmaker clouds).

I am made up of various intangible variants mentally & emotionally, yet people see me, held together by a physical body and relate to me; family, friend, colleague.

My clouds are fluffy, heavy and teary.

Cloud Study : Structure - Is this cloud heavy?

This cloud attaches to another cloud. It is inevitable, needing support from another. On its own, it is just a matter of droplets in isolation.

Sometimes we are just too stubborn to admit that we need each other. Afraid to open up, we choose ego and loneliness. Doesn’t make us any lighter.

Cloud Study : Surface - Is this cloud fluffy?

This cloud is not as fluffy as it looks. Some parts of the cloud are scarred by winds, thunder, airplanes, and toxic fumes. Yet, it does often appear fluffy from afar doesn’t it?

Relationships break, and leave marks. Friendships, romance, death; leaving a void, a vacuum of longing. We accumulate life’s beautiful imprints - all of them, scars, wounds and flowers.

Cloud Study : System - Is this cloud teary?

This cloud operates within logical grids, and it has forgotten how to rain. A needle pokes into the cloud to instigate rain.

Vulnerability and honesty is not common as it will make you cry. It’s hard to fake a tear. Oftentimes, it is how we signal our sincerity.



I used to run regularly years ago to build up my stamina for dance. For some reason, I stopped.

After the MCO was lifted, my sole intention of going to the park was just for fresh air. I wore sandals, took my sketchbook with me and started sketching macaques, pigeons and caterpillars as people ran all around me. I made the decision and commitment to start running again.

This time, running is more for mental fitness rather than the physicality of it. I do set goals, with a minimum distance to run+walk, but with no time targets. I walk when I feel tired, listening to my body, and allowing slow walks at intervals. There is room for negotiation with myself at the park, a pushing and pulling where I give my body and muscles acceptable pain and stress in exchange for endorphins, and a nice grass ritual (shoes and socks off for a foot massage au naturale) when I am done.

I enjoy both the wind brushing through my face when I am at speed, blowing the worries away as my mind focuses within the moment, and the taste of the air when I slow down. My senses open up to the mildest smell of grass, visually revealing uniformed yet independent strands of grass and other tiny plants. I head home and put the experience down on a sketchbook in the form of strokes and marks.

This good feeling is a feeling of appreciation of what was at the park, and what I brought back within me… and yes, remnants of endorphins.


There is a brutality in the mark-making process; the way a brush scratches (scrubs) the surface of paper. Yet, it is like the brutality of scratching an itch - hugely satisfying and comforting.

Running & mark-making. This series of art works are an extension from my sketchbooks which records textures I see and experience in parks where I run; a visualisation of my senses in active motion. Textures are felt-out and produced with an ink brush using a dry brush technique.

This experience of mark making on a long scroll has similarities with endurance training; the paper is the trail, and the brushes my feet in running shoes. At times, my mind goes blank due to the repetition of movements, yet I’m still moving my hands or my feet as muscle memory takes over before passing it back to my consciousness; running & mark-making.


In 2022, I had a short residency in Cel del Nord, Oristá, Barcelona. Before heading over to Spain, I had plans to:

  1. Go on daily walks to create abstract maps from the experience

  2. Do daily journals using watercolor

  3. Do daily journals using embroidery

  4. Try out natural dyes using local flora and fauna

In Spain, my senses were often overwhelmed. The residency where I stayed was an old stone building, to which other Western resident artists were used to, but not this South East Asian girl who sensed the building in awe. The countryside of wheat fields had its own colours of pinks and yellows, different from the direct blue-green hues of tropical sceneries. The smells of countryside pig-farms versus the kerbau cow-poos of home. Church bells tolling every 15mins from 8am to 11pm, replacing the sounds of Azan, which only occurs 5 times a day.

I did an interview with Cel del Nord post-residency which went like this:


About daily journaling and watercolour abstracts

"I think it’s a process that I developed through my training in architecture and arts. One way to design in architecture is to turn something figurative into abstract forms and shapes, like picking the essence of a concept and translating it into architectural shapes and forms. My process has always been trying to break down what I see into colours and patterns, it has become a habit after all these years.”

"I have always incorporated repetition and rhythm, patterns and intricate details in my works, regardless of the colour palette or medium, and I tend to put meaning into every mark made. But, I’m also open to how others define the marks they see. That’s the beauty of abstract works, right? It’s not just a reflection of the artist but also a reflection of the audience”.

You made work using real flowers and leaves, and they rarely produced the colours that they promised in their untouched states. How did you deal with that?It was fascinating. At first I was impatient, trying to find the colours I planned to use, like the green of the leaves or the reds of the flowers. That was especially frustrating with the time constraint. But this unpredictability of natural dyes taught me to not treat this method as a solitary process like painting or embroidery, but a collaborative one where the collaborator decides what shapes and colour palettes should appear on the textile. I was also reminded that using natural dye requires experimentation and I needed to approach dyeing in more scientifically. But scientific methods take time. I dealt with it by deciding to be more open to the results of the natural dyes and treat my works at the residency as an experiment of discovery that I hope to carry forward through my practice.

And when you mention a collaborator, do you mean the flowers and leaves that you were using? What does it mean to you to collaborate with nature?

Yes, I felt like my collaborator was Nature itself. It’s difficult to work with a collaborator that is set in their ways—Nature has her own laws for us to abide by—so it is a collaboration that happens after one party is done with their part and another takes over or adds her input. I think being aware of how much Nature’s law influenced working with dyes made me question how much artistic input is truly mine and how much is just borrowed, how much of “me” am I putting into each piece of dyeing work and how much is just letting Nature take her course. That’s why I decided that the dyed pieces are unfinished, that I need to do my part to turn it into an artwork before I can call it my own creation, whether that’s through manipulation in dyeing techniques, or designing the flower and leaf arrangements, or even deconstructing and reassembling the pieces. ( Source: )

The series of works in this exhibition are my daily journals using watercolour and embroidery of a past experience into its present state. Carefree artistic explorations at Cel del Nord fading, leading me to recreate imperfect impressions of past moments.


About the artists

Shiela Samsuri is an over-thinker. For most of her waking hours, her curiosities are directed to her role as a design strategist for R+, a research arm in GDP architects. In her own time, she often wonders where time goes as she habitually puts pen to paper, each dot trying to capture the weight of a cloud with various pressures and indentations. Can its weight ever truly be conveyed? Perhaps it's her life’s mission to see this question through, as she works silently in her own studio. She is also planning to propose to Harry Edward Styles on March 17th.

Xeem Noor explores the dichotomy of personhood and lifeworlds through visual & sensorial expressions in the form of fabric art. The slowness of fabric art techniques gives her the safe time and space to process ideas, moments and experiences. Xeem is a homebody who enjoys making and creating but will occasionally venture out into the world, especially for meaningful conversations, good food and low-energy nature walks. Fair warning, she will bring her knitting and embroidery bag along. She will also bring her love for Lee Minhyuk of Monsta X.

Cassielelolea is a sensation-seeker who finds novelty in her brush strokes and body movements. She turns gestures, chatters, and experiences to monochromatic paintings and drawings as she thinks the world needs simplicity. She seeks solace by looking beyond the mundane, peeping through exclusive personal windows, before heading back to her sketchbook to mull.


bottom of page