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Nasha Cash Dance and be free at the mushroom tea party

From folklore and faeries to surrealism and psychedelia, everyone’s welcome in the weird and wonderful world of Nasha Cash.

Raised in Sheffield but dwelling just over the Pennines in Manchester, Nasha Cash is a visual artist whose work provides a juicy and satisfying antidote to the mundanity of daily life. I chatted to Nasha to find out more about what makes her tick as an artist and what she’s got going on at the moment.

Hey Nasha. Nice to meet you. First things first, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you love about art?

Hey. I’m a 24-year-old artist and native Sheffielder. I’ve always drawn, it’s been a way for me to explore my inner world and respond to the happenings of the outer world. I love how an image can capture a feeling and immediately delight, repulse or tickle the viewer. Especially with some of my own work, I revel in the mixed responses of horror and humour; I love hearing how people personally relate to a piece - I never hear the same thought twice.

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A lot of your work has strong surrealist vibes. Where do you draw inspiration from when creating new pieces and why do you find yourself drawn to these sources?

I’ve always been drawn to surrealism. As a child I would look through big books of Dali’s work and sit for hours pondering all the weird little details, trying to find meaning. I take a lot of inspiration from nature, patterns, cartoons, comics and music. After a day out hiking or urban exploring, I love to just put an album on and draw. I think that I find these sources so inspiring because they fill me with a juvenile sense of adventure that goes on to inform some of my more whimsical pieces.

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You’re one of the founding members of Manchester / Sheffield art collective The Order of the Fool*. Who else is involved and what have you folks got on the artistic horizon?

Myself, Nat Muir, the artist behind Inktally, and Ben Thompson, a lecturer of Animation and Illustration at the University of Bolton, founded The Order of The Fool with the aim of gathering a diverse group of talented, northern-based, visual artists to work together on a reimagining of the Major Arcana tarot deck. Inspired by the idea of Street Cartomancy or Street Tarot, which is a form of tarot based on the reading of found playing cards, we will be “hiding” poster-sized versions of our deck around Manchester later this year. The cards won’t just function as an impromptu tarot reading but also as something of a scavenger hunt. We’re starting this off in Manchester, but we definitely want to see this body of work tour Sheffield and other cities in the North.

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You mostly work in black and white. What keeps you coming back to monochrome?

Black and white is homely to me. Growing up I was limited in my access to art materials but something I always had was a pencil and paper. Whilst now I do use more colour in my practice, to some extent my largely monochrome palette is simply a thing of habit. My work is often a maximalist concoction of line and shape, as visually stimulating as it is headache inducing. As much as I love colour, I love how the simplicity of monochrome complements the complexity of my line work.

You’ve got a number of projects in the pipeline. What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on a series exploring my connection to Sheffield and its brutalist architecture, with a particular focus on council estates and the spaces around them. I grew up in an area of Sheffield known locally as Murder Corner (because of all the murders) and it was a bit rough, but I found respite in the green areas that were also just on my doorstep. In my work I explore this contradictory space, through the juxtaposing symbols of tower blocks and flowers and looming, brutalist, structures oozing through into self-portraits.

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And finally, who are The Lefty Beasts?

I started drawing with my left hand to help with learning to play the piano. Whilst the piano was something that I dropped almost as quickly as I picked it up, I stuck with drawing with my left hand. The first few drawings were just rough scribblings of the feral hand but what they lacked in technical skill and control, they made up for in character. Drawing with my left hand, perfectionism was out the window, my mindscape unconsciously leaked through my pen, and I ended up creating this miserable, scraggly, ragtag bunch who I now call The Lefty Beasts.

by Felicity Jackson (she/her)

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