I approach the creation of art from a philosophical perspective that is holistic and collectivist. I enjoy analyzing how various elements of daily life – as simple as making your morning coffee or purchasing a cup of coffee – create a ripple effect that impacts society or the environment. From a larger viewpoint, it helps me to better understand human behavior and the motivations of people and their decision-making processes. Such study also prompts me to question why – and just how aware people are (or are not) of their behaviors, their actions and their societal or cultural conditioning. All of this qualitative research plays into how I approach my artwork as well as determining new bodies of work to create.
My passion for understanding humanity and seeing the beauty in our commonality has been the primary motivation for my artwork. It began when I was young, growing up in Jordan with an artisan father who encouraged me to pursue artistic outlets. I’ve always had a child-like curiosity about exploring human interconnectedness, to shift awareness and consciousness, to disrupt stagnation of thought or action, to create positive and thought-provoking work that awakens meaningful purpose to our lives. My artistic journey took shape when I was a young adult and studied the ancient art of embroidery from Canaan – stitch by stitch (equivalent to modern day pixels) of vibrant, colorful thread sewn into fabric, rich in historical symbolism. My study – and my work with the locals, who passed on the tradition to their children and grandchildren, amidst simultaneous story-telling and cooking – was a milestone for me, personally and professionally.
This experience propelled me to become an artist – to weave in bright colors, texture, and images of stitchery in my own work as I seek to cast a spotlight on human behavior, our commonalities and differences, the deconstruction of history, social and cultural norms, and the environment. Sometimes my art isn’t bright or colorful; the topic can be grim depending on my use of material or medium to present a reflection of social norms or cultural consumption. Yet in all instances, I see art as a means to foster dialogue, connectivity, understanding and respect – and this is bright, no matter the topic being addressed.
This quest for interconnectedness and better knowledge of the collective “us” is the reward I receive from being an artist. It is both gratifying and motivating, and makes my life rich and meaningful. This is a gift I want to share, and I attempt to do this by using new methods of multimedia that enable audiences to be fully engaged, active participants during exhibits. This approach extends to fellow artists with whom I collaborate: Art becomes a type of research based on sharing techniques and studying reactions. With both groups – audiences and artist colleagues – it serves to create measurement to gauge the impact of senses and emotions provoked.
Finally, my artistic research and the making of art do not end when a product is produced; rather, it marks the beginning. I seek the possibilities to elevate art to the next stage of discovery and refinement. I aim to continue studying colors, media, and their interaction. Also, I want to continue my exploration of using both traditional and non-traditional painting technologies and techniques. In terms of subject matter, my interest continues in “seeing” and conceptualizing ordinary matters that can pass by, unnoticed; I want to uncover a culture or cultures of awareness and hope to train the mind to “see” things differently. Media, form, and color are elements at my disposal that I can use to create the visual impact necessary to deliver an idea, a concept.