Born and raised in Baghdad, Iraq in 1976, I am a self-taught painter that never let go of the brush that I was given as a child. Throughout the 1990’s, I dedicated my energy to painting. This led to participating in joint exhibitions during the late 1990s and my first solo exhibition at In’aa Gallery, Baghdad in 2001. Since then, I have been blessed with participating in exhibitions around the world. Raised under the Ba’ath Party and subject to its mandates and masochism, I breathed in the studio when life outside had been suffocated. I am expressive, constantly experimenting with color and techniques, influenced by the intensity of my home country, a student of the civilizations lost – Mesopotamia, Assyria, Babylon and ancient Kurdish tribes; home.
I continually seek boundaries as to the female form and the repression of human nature. My works utilize the ancient Mesopotamian art of mural painting by engraving on canvas. I use a unique technique of employing oils, aging materials and dyes to create a leather-like texture, adorned with ornate patterns applied in gold and shades of blue and green inspired by the primary colors found throughout nature.
You will find the results of living conditions and political metaphors derived from living under a dictatorial regime, its chaos, devastation and ultimate destruction; yet, the primary condition of life that is conveyed in my works is that of beauty and homage to the survival of antiquities, lest they are at risk. To be true to my experience, I must paint the horrors of Iraq.
I often populate my paintings with faceless, androgynous figures that transmute into abstraction – suggesting the turmoil that can underlie the thin surface of social order, and its effect on the human soul. This search for beauty amongst destruction is translated into my compositions through a conscious embrace of decay. Utilizing colors and techniques that will purposefully alter over decades of time, mirroring the remnants of ancient history and cities devastated by war. Though within this decay, I aim preserves beauty.
I hope my works touch those that have suffered from war, lost homes, displacement, tragedy; but most importantly to speak to those who are blessed to not have experienced.