I was drawn to art at a very early age and was greatly inspired by my late grandmother, the artist Fahrelnissa Zeid. As a child, I was mesmerized by her paintings, which covered every visible surface- walls, ceilings and even floors. The dazzling kaleidoscope of colours and forms had a lasting effect on me and my approach to art throughout my life, as I feel I have inherited her love of colour, rich texture and bold expressive lines.
Whimsical expressiveness characterizes my work and I’m constantly seeking inspiration from both urban and natural environments. I have a weakness for symbolism and soulful subjects and an affinity for texture and combining textures in interesting and contrasting ways. A painting needs to be eye-catching and dramatic- not something that risks fading into the background. It needs to provoke, not decorate.
The artistic process is much more important to me than the actual product - the creation of the piece and how much of yourself is poured into the work and how much you receive in return as an artist is far more significant than the final physical outcome. The painting guides me and tells me what it wants in a visual conversation where I often approach the blank canvas with no predetermined plan and paint impulsively, guided by an inner force, emotion or mood. I surrender to spontaneity and create layers of chaos through a series of random impulsive actions, after which I re-examine what has emerged on the canvas. I find myself searching for what is of value and what is dispensable. This pleasantly challenging process is repeated several times, layer after layer of chaos followed by “sanity”, until the work tells me that it is complete and I feel no more visual anxiety.
What I love about creating art is reaching a certain point in the process where I find that I am no longer in charge, because I’ve created something that has come alive, and that something is now directing me - so I surrender to the authority of my work.