Meet the Creatives of Bristol: Ratiba Ayadi

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In my Meet the Creatives of Bristol series, I scout the city for locals who work in a variety of creative fields. Whether they are at the early stage of their career, or are well-established, they represent the artistic city that Bristol is; vibrant, diverse and inspiring. 


This time I caught up with painter Ratiba Ayadi, a Bristol local who’s artwork is rich in both atmosphere and technique. It represents a development through time and space, of feelings dark, powerful and spiritual.

Bristol Artist Ratiba Ayadi

As with a lot of artwork, Ratiba’s paintings are expressed from personal experience. Something that she depicted naturally, although originally wanting to present humans as they exist in basic form.

Bristol Artist Ratiba Ayadi

Ratiba developed her style firstly with simple representations of people. Black and white corpse-like figures, empty frames that act to remove boundaries of race, gender and class.


This can be seen in her early work, as observations of the human experience. Figures that sit on turbulent backgrounds, almost tormented in their appearance. Using acrylic paints on canvases, she likes to experiment with alternate tools of application to achieve varied results.

Bristol Artist Ratiba Ayadi

As time progressed, her representation of figures developed to have more fluidity and form. Once a neutral black figure, present in most of her paintings, they now take on gendered roles in her more recent works.


“My ongoing attraction to Surrealism has influenced my understanding of juxtaposition, in order to challenge an individuals perception therefore challenging my own.”

Bristol Artist Ratiba Ayadi

Her work is mostly centred around observation and analysis, provoked by the thought that our core emotions are similar to one another as human beings.


Our emotions although not projected identically have the same principles, a contrast between highs and lows at different levels of a spectrum.”


Originally, her work meant something sinister, a lack of understanding for purpose and in turn – existence. As she progressed further she began to write poetry, short prose and streams of consciousness to put words to her feelings of question and critique about the world. Through this she awoke in herself, a higher perception of life.

Bristol Artist Ratiba Ayadi

Her newer work draws heavy influence from space and atmosphere. The moon, the night stars and the planets all transpire into her paintings.


What began as tiny sketches on the back of receipts has become something much larger, both physically and spiritually for Ratiba. Her work speaks for itself.


If you would like a commission, or to simply check out her beautiful work, head to her Facebook page here

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