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Arab Women Artists: A Treasure Trove of Talent

Facebook page ‘Arab Women Artists’ virtually showcases stunning works of art by female artists from all around the Arab region.

Images play in your head like small pieces of glass hung by a thread, trembling under the breeze, reflecting light unto your eyes. You shiver remembering a certain warm memory, and, enveloped by nostalgia, you wish you could turn back time. You get overwhelmed by the feeling of longing for places you have never visited and seeking haven in faces you haven’t met. Every detail of the image in front of you softly pierces your heart and you turn from being a human being to being an entire universe inside a shell of skin. This is the experience of art and appreciating it, in perhaps the simplest and most candid words.

Artwork by Ghada Al-Kandari (Kuwait) 

The world has taught us to lose our spontaneity and childlike fascination with the richness of this life so that we can ‘grow up’. The lights reflecting on a clean rain-soaked street looking like magical underground doors stop meaning anything to us; so do the tiny blooming flowers on a moss-covered branch or the long shadows that follow us like invisible friends when walking by the street lamps at night. Those details are usually omitted from our ‘rational’ vision and eventually, they die out, but often those very details are what keep life liveable and all too magical. 

Luckily; however, a certain kind of people will always exist; the ones who see those details with big absorbing eyes and keep bombarding our sleeping minds with them no matter how much they ‘grow up’. Those people are called artists.

Artwork by Eman Osama (Egypt)

And though there are as many artists as our (perhaps at times masked) need for art, I would like to talk a little about a treasure trove I recently stumbled upon; an impressive little virtual hub containing a stunning collection of works by not just any artists, but Arab women. Finally!

Arab Women Artists virtually showcases incredible art work by Arab women, which both shocked and actually saddened me due to them not acquiring the exposure they surely deserve. Posting high quality images of their paintings with a hashtag followed by their Arab nationality creates in the viewer a sense of appreciation for the artwork and a sense of pride of their accomplishments, given that it is not always easy to experience and express one’s own thoughts and articulations completely freely as an Arab woman.

Aside from the prominent universal themes such as love and intimacy, the works of the truly talented female artists also depict the different postures and celebrations of the human body, such as a belly dancer moving to music or a sad woman with a piece of paper in her hands. The collection also includes portrayals of the human body using different invented and mixed (but never mismatched) schools of art, such as abstract art to portray an embracing couple or mixed media to show different human hands embracing a protruding pregnant belly.

Artwork by Roya Issa (Syria)

Other themes such as death and murder, eerie still life shots, Palestinian and Syrian suffering, loneliness, suppression, dissolution, and loss as well as blurred portraits and doodle art showing still crowds, women playing cards and seaside life are only some of themes exploding so wonderfully on the screen on one of the most interesting pages I have ever come across.

Artwork by Suad Al-Attar (Iraq)

It seems like I will be –very gladly- spending hours and hours delving into the details of the artwork and trying not to yell in excitement every time. And for the art fanatics like myself now reading this, analysis of the artwork and interviews with the artists will soon follow in future features. 

But in the meantime, you can feast your eyes on magnificent art work here.

Main image: Artwork by Sara Shamma (Syria) 


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