artist · performing artist · poet

A little of the Exotic in Wiltshire

Here at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre we are continuing the legacy of the Creative Wiltshire project and remain dedicated to acquiring the works of local creative talent on behalf of the people of Wiltshire.

Two of our latest additions highlight the scope and diversity of the Creative Wiltshire collection.

Swindon artist and visual arts teacher Sholeh Jafari is a wonderful artist with a BA in Fine Arts. She captures the essence of her childhood in Iran through the vibrant colours and tones of her pieces. Sholeh describes her work:

“It is layered with memories from my everyday life; some vivid, some faded over time. Vibrant and colourful, they are warm and rich, tempting us to imagine faraway lands. I love landscape and I love to show it in an abstract way.”

Her work is thoughtful and sensitive with a purity of expression that is heartfelt.

Image from the Historic Photograph and Print Collection at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, ref. P61502 ©Sholeh Jafari

The highly talented poet and author Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa from Trowbridge also produces artwork, and we have acquired a number of her greetings cards to add to our Historic Photograph and Print collection. Safiya is a British born Barbadian raised poet, teacher, dancer and choreographer. Her neurodiversity led her to explore poetry through dance; she went on to gain a BA in Cultural Studies and an MA in Dance Cultures. In 2020 she was awarded the New Voice in Poetry prize and is gaining international acclaim.

Image from the Historic Photograph and Print Collection at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, ref. P59999 ©Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa

The poem written by Safaya to accompany the image reads:


“What astonishing

strength, to give and trust without

hoping for a thanks;

please receive mine as though it

were a shower on parched land.”

Safiya’s delightful drawings of African animals produce a sense of joy, taking you to a far-off land of vibrance and sun, and give us a feel of the beauty and value of nature. We hope to acquire some of Safiya’s poetry in 2022 when she is due to publish her first compilation The Inheritance.

We are excited and delighted to be able to add these works to our collection, bringing a little of the exotic to our county and showcasing the work of some fantastic Wiltshire talent. We would love as many people as possible to view and enjoy the Creative Wiltshire Collection. If you would like to see any of the creative works acquired by the History Centre, please contact us to arrange a visit at

Julie Davis
County Local Studies Librarian
Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre

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