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Artist Statement


My artwork is a document of an often contradictory existence in two cultures-the one of my birth and childhood and the other of my coming of age and education. The many challenges of being a Muslim woman in the western culture have become sites for my artistic exploration as they are urgently faced in the day to day molding of my artistic approaches. It is no accident that I have one foot in so many disciplines. I choose to bounce between image and text; and refuse to be pinned down in a single category.

Beginning from interests in both painting and in Arabic calligraphy, I have become increasingly interested in the relationship between textuality and visuality, both aesthetically and culturally. My work has moved from painting towards video, performance and text in response to investigating issues and questions about femininity and representation. My cross-cultural background informs my artistic interests. I see myself as an artist-researcher with feet firmly in two cultures. Having been born and raised in Saudi Arabia my basis is in Eastern thought. Living my adulthood in the United States has allowed Western thought to shape my identity in the West. Many of the ideas that inform my work are generated by looking at feminist artists that deal with female subjectivity as source.

As a female artist, I establish a vocabulary through image and text. In my MFA thesis exhibition I question the presence of the female figure. The appearance and disappearance of the female figure are alluded to through her remains, voice, shadow, vocal and written marks, and the space she occupies. I refuse to present her physically. Working with the female gaze, I combine theory and practice to embrace both sides of my cultural heritage and to experiment with modes of writing and making art.




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