Niveen Kassem

My love and deep connection with nature has been with me for as long as I can remember. Growing up in my bonny coastal city in Syria meant that I was lucky enough to spend the Summer on the beach- swimming, cloud collecting and listening with curiosity to seashells whispering to me. Sometimes I would use the flat fan-shaped seashells as chalks to draw my dreams on the wet sands. Being near the sea is a life line- water gives me life and eternal joy.  

Over the years I have developed a special connection with the natural world in and within the marvellous and vast landscapes in Syria. Visiting the mountains and being amongst trees was very inspirational and soul nourishing, and there I developed my love for writing, musing and drawing on tree leaves.  

Now that I live in England, my love for musing on leaves has grown and developed into something special- creating leaf messages to gift and send to family and friends, and the process fills my heart with joy and happiness. 

In 2021 I will take up residence in Northumberland Wildlife Trust. For this residency I would like to explore Northumberlandia, its history and its landscape sculpture. I would also want to explore my internal landscape within proximity to nature, and record my feelings and observations in writing and visual journaling. Further, I would love to chat to the locals and interview some of them to collect stories about their relationship with their natural heritage. Throughout this residency, I would generate creative works (writings, photographs and mixed media journaling) in response to collected stories, my own observations and my interactions with the locals. I will share all my creative work on this page. 

I am very excited to be part of this project and I look very forward to immerse myself in this experience.  

Sheree and identity on tyne, thanks heaps for providing this wonderful opportunity to explore my connection with nature.