Sunday, April 12, 2015


Maha El Refaee

I think that a lot of people have a misconception about religion and the people who practice it, I find this is especially true when it comes to Islam. When I look around me at the people who practice different religions and follow it I generally find that they have peace and serenity within them as if they all know what their role and place in life is and have come to terms with it. That’s where the idea of my piece “freedom” came from. I decided to use Arabic calligraphy with the simple word “freedom” in the middle. I wanted to play more with different colors rather than different Medias for this piece. Firstly, I took an oval 20x30 cm canvas and stenciled the word by cutting them out of paper and spray painting over it. This allowed the letters to remain white while the rest of the canvas was painted black, creating a nice neutral background. I used oil colors within the actual words and tried to add a variety of them and place them in a way that showed movement within them as though the colors were giving life to the word. Before the paint dried I took a cotton swab and gentled the border of the word so that it didn’t appear too harsh. Once the paint had dried, I took acrylic paint and attempted to add a dripping effect to the words. By dabbing the paint along the bottom edge then layering it with water until it started to pour down. The main purpose of this was to symbolize that once someone gets inspired and finds freedom within religion that inspiration leeks into other parts of their lives (the black, in this case, representing the other part.) This was the main idea and symbolism for the piece that I wanted to get across to viewers, that believing in things including religion doesn’t mean it is constricting to a person and what they’re able to do, but instead it can free someone and make them more comfortable with themselves. This is what happened with a friend of mine, he had went abroad for university and in the process lost his belief system. But once he came back and found religion again he became a different person. Someone who was much happier and at peace with themselves. I wanted to go against the stereotype that because you follow a religion you much be lost or that you must miss out on so many things because they go against your beliefs but instead I wanted my piece to say that sometimes it’s the people who fail to be inspired by life, be it art, music, religion or in general that are the most lost. 

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