Nuveen Barwari, 'Gul Brin Cut By a Flower', 2021, silk, velvet, thread. Courtesy of ITERARTE & the artist

The Confessions Questionnaire

Your name/nickname.

My name is Nuveen… some people call me Nuvs. When I order coffee it’s Nova.

Current mood in one word.


What is your favourite dish?

Iprax (dolma)… I love to make them just as much as I like to eat them… It is definitely not a dish you make for one, it’s very communal! 

Tea or coffee?

That is a hard one. Coffee!

Favourite place you’ve travelled to and why?

Tokyo, Japan.

Favourite movie?

The Color of Pomegranates by Sergei Parajanov.

Favourite book or poem and why?

Butterfly Valley by Sherko Bekas.

Your Life Motto or favourite quote?

“It is what it is”.

What or who inspires you the most in life?

Beri Shalmashi (screenwriter/director), Marlos E’van (artist), Sayran.

Three unique things about where you live?

Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller initiated an extensive public art collection beneath the empire state plaza, and they have a tulip festival every year and the whole city is full of tulips.

A piece of advice you’d give to your younger self.

You do not have to treat everything you make so preciously. It is ok to make mistakes and not know everything. Trust the process.

How do you escape a creative block?

Talk to your artist friends.

Do you have a favourite colour?


Favourite art tool?

Sewing machine.

Is your studio messy or tidy?


Why did you become an artist?

I am still on that journey trying to find out.

What is the most challenging or exciting thing about being an artist?

Maybe the most exciting and challenging thing about being an artist is not knowing what’s going to happen next.

Craziest artistic experiment you've tried.

I did a video piece with my good friend and colleague Marlos E’van where they shot me dragging a very heavy rug across a parking lot and campus. People walking by were noticing that I was struggling a lot. People around us were just really confused about why my friend wasn’t helping me or why they were recording this process.

Funniest criticism you’ve received.

Nobody gives me funny criticism because they are too scared of “offending my culture”. (Which I think is kind of funny).

Describe your style in three words.

Layered, bold, multifaceted.

Most memorable artistic achievement.

It’s an ongoing achievement to be able to make art every day. A lot of what I do and make is for a younger generation of not only Kurdish Americans but other members of diasporic communities to possibly help make sense of this “in-between space” that we exist in.

Dream collaboration (with someone dead or alive)

I would love to collaborate with Kurdish singers Mihemmed Shekho, Eyaz Yusif, Tahsin Taha, Ayse Shan, and so many more influential Kurdish artists that are not with us anymore. I would have loved to create album art for them. Their music has such a huge impact on my work.

If you could exhibit anywhere, where would it be?

I have a couple of places in mind, but I have been thinking a lot about the Dallas Museum of Art. I had one of my first art museum experiences there.



I believe this playlist accurately reflects my visual style, incorporating music that serves as inspiration and a blend of both cultural influences.