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Shurooq Amin – artist and poet

How are you spending the summer?

I’ve been invited to do the Art Omi Residency in New York as one of their 12 annual artists, so am lucky to be spending my June and July in New York surrounded by diverse artists, meeting curators and gallery owners, and traipsing around the NY countryside on a bicycle discovering its nature and hopefully finding inspiration in the studio they will be providing for me. After my residency at Art Omi I will also spend a week or so in NYC itself to visit the art galleries and museums. Work never escapes me, even in the summer! August, however, will be downtime with a short island vacation (Spain, Italy or Greece) with friends or family.

Who would be your ideal travel companion (real or fictional, dead or alive)?

My late father. He was a man of exquisite taste, yet with a keen sense of adventure. Great combination.

Will you share your summer experiences on social media?

But of course! Doesn’t everyone? There are times, however, when you’re having so much fun that you forget about your phone. Those are the real precious memorable moments.

What’s on your summer reading list?

I’m reading a few fictional books set in Paris or Tuscany (signs signs signs). But most of my books are non-fictional, focusing on spirituality, psychology, or world affairs. I particularly love biographies, as they teach lessons in success and overcoming failure via the lives of successful people. I also recently re-read The Art of War: a perfect book to teach you about strategy in life, love, and war.

Do you try to keep up with the news when you’re on holiday?

Never. But it does tend to stalk you, doesn’t it? The curse of being instantly connected.

Are holiday selfies ever acceptable?

Always. Even my mother has jumped on the selfie bandwagon; it’s an inevitable vice of current social media. Snapchat filters have taken us to a whole new level of vain.

What will be your soundtrack to summer 2017?

A cross between Latino music (Luis Fonsi’s Despacito for one), some oldies like Buffalo Springfield’s For What It’s Worth, some feed-my-soul-music like Michael Kiwanuka, and lots of Sia.

If you could go to any place at any time, where would you go and why?

An island where the temperature is a perfect 30 degrees Celsius all year round, with mountains in the background and fields of flowers at the foot of the mountains, with perfect Wi-Fi and plumbing, but where I live a quasi-rustic lifestyle, eating off the earth and being grounded with nature, where there are no bugs and insects (except for ladybirds and butterflies), and there are no jelly fish or sharks in my ocean. And I’m living with my ideal partner, my kids, and my friends. Basically, my idea of heaven on earth.

If you had one top travel tip, what would it be?

Travel light! If you cannot carry it yourself, don’t take it. Make sure you can move fast in airports, train stations and subways, and make sure you can hail a taxi while holding onto your stuff. Traveling light = independence and freedom.

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