May Mansour meets the enigmatic, underground artist to find out more about her unique, almost lucid style, and what inspires it...
Hebatallah R., aka FullPower, is a gifted, multi-talented existentialist creature of the arts inspired by original matter. Ingeniously sketching vivid images from her own innate musings, dreams and insatiable nightmares. If i'll have to describe the mood behind her artwork I'd say Tim Burton meets Picasso in a Space Beehive; phantasmal creations with a tinge of surrealism, oddly erotic at times, signature piercing eyes, with a somewhat eerie yet witty flair to her characters and general artistic imagery. A free spirited, vigorous and limitless individual. Certainly a fan of her otherworldy artworks, it was time dig her out of the art world's undergrounds where she modestly and joyously nests, and pick her buzzing brains.
So what do you do for a living?
I am currently handling social media, art direction, and photography for a few clients; freelancing while doing the things I enjoy. This works perfectly for me, I can manage my own time and work on my personal creations.
How old were you when you decided to draw?
When I was first introduced to colour crayons in Kindergarten, and the smell of the art room; my doodles were the earliest form of expressing my imaginary stories on paper.
What made you pursue art in all its diverse forms of expression?
I was plucked from an early age for an art internship after winning a prize from the Ministry of Culture when I was seven. From that early on, I was told how to approach art. It seemed very methodical to me. And for the most part, my university years and my first few years of working in corporations followed the same structure. After freeing myself from the shackles of the corporate machine, I didn’t know where to start, as I was flowing with ideas. Sketching, painting, photography, music! I wanted to explore it all. These days I’m trying to dial back the excitement and focus more on a particular type of output, so I would give it my full on focus.
What materials do you use in your creations?
I have no particular preference, I tend to grab knick-knacks that are in my space and repurpose them somehow. I’ve used an old wooden hair comb, the embroidery of tea coasters and often find myself getting physical and even dancing with acrylics on canvas. I love experimenting with objects.
What things in life form the inspiration and reason behind your artwork?
I would not say subjects from the waking life, but rather other realms, so it is mainly a work of my imagination. My dreams play a very big role in my inspiration. However, if we were to state subjects from our waking life I would say, space, anatomy, nature, plants, and the idea of life itself, being the biggest mystery there is.
And as you’re also into photography, what things grab your camera’s attention?
I love human interactions and people-watching. Observing them in their natural habitats, making up stories about their life. Catching those mini expressions while they’re working, walking, or talking does it for my camera and I.
Insects and women are two prominent themes in your artwork, how would you best describe their relation to each other?
Well I am obsessed with insects and how ancient they are. The fact that they existed before dinosaurs turns me on. And women? Well, women are just beautiful creatures. I wouldn’t say I relate them to one another, however in my most recent collection, they interact in a series of bees pollinating women, resulting in a somewhat erotic fusion of fruits.
List three particular moods that inspire you to draw…
High. Happy. Low.
How about nuisances you want out of your way when you draw?
Interruptions kill me, especially if it’s from people who know that these are my working hours. Somehow the arts don’t register as serious enough to some, and they choose to call or pop in while I am in the zone man! That’s about it really.
What kind of music do you listen to?
I mostly lean towards classical, ambient, or dub music when I’m in the mood to create stuff. At times the music serves as the inspiration and suddenly I feel like sketching/painting. In situations as such, the music I have on, shapes my flow and what comes out on canvas/paper. It’s exciting because then I’m never sure of what the outcome is going to be and it becomes more about the whole process being super pleasurable.
Are there any other activities you pursue? Interests or hobbies?
Yes, I love all kinds of dancing and self-expression with my body. I’ve been doing ballet since I was five, not on a professional level, but I perform yearly. The piano is another interest of mine that I started at a very early age, and during my teen years, I joined a band where I played the keyboard. I love the process of composing music, collecting Kinder Surprise toys (I have a massive collection), I love lip-syncing, and making/editing videos. Dark sciences interest me as well & everything related to the unknown.
Any favorite artists? Locally or internationally?
Well, internationally there is Von Bayros, whom I really admire, especially his erotic series. There is the infamous Salvador Dali, I was introduced to his work earlier because some friends thought my surrealist work is similar to his. Hieronymus Bosch never fails to get me lost in his art pieces. A couple of days ago I ran into the work of Walid Ebeid, it left me in awe, and excitement to integrate and discover more local talents.
Are any of your works available for viewing currently or in the future?
Yes, you can check out some of my work on my website, I just recently uploaded the new collection Pollination, you can check it out here. I am currently also working on collection that will be exhibited abroad, I don’t like spilling the beans of work in process, but I am super excited for my first international exhibition.