House and Leisure (South Africa) - - Online - LAYLAA JA­COBS THE FINE ARTIST

We’re tak­ing our cue from 100% De­sign South Africa and show­cas­ing Afro­cen­tric de­sign, from a lo­cal in­te­rior com­pany’s unique vi­sion of a con­tem­po­rary African ho­tel to must-have mir­rors, strik­ing wom­enswear, ceramic adorn­ments and graphic kil­ims

Fine artist Laylaa Ja­cobs is of­ten torn be­tween who she feels she needs to be and who she wants to be as a young mod­ern Mus­lim woman nav­i­gat­ing Western­ised spa­ces. From draw­ing fam­ily por­traits at four years old to cre­at­ing colour­ing books at five and an il­lus­tra­tive book at seven, the artis­tic mus­cle of this Michaelis School of Fine Art grad­u­ate was al­ways be­ing flexed.

Her lat­est series of art­works, Fulla, show­cases six em­bel­lished prayer mats and draws in­spi­ra­tion from the Bar­bie doll of the same name that is mar­keted to Is­lamic and Mid­dle East­ern coun­tries with a hi­jab and prayer mat of her own. ‘She’s a girl’s “dream doll” dis­play­ing the ideal dress code and be­hav­iour of a Mus­lim woman,’ says Laylaa, who uses her work to merge the com­plex­i­ties of what both Fulla and Bar­bie rep­re­sent. ‘As much as I at­tempt to com­bine the two, I will al­ways be ob­served as Fulla. Mus­lim school en­cour­aged me to be mod­est in be­hav­iour and dress, but when I re­turned home, I would play with my Bar­bie,’ she says.

Ira­nian artist Shirin Ne­shat. I’d love to work with who­is­fulla.word­ Read an ex­tended Q&A with Laylaa and view our gallery of her work at house­an­

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