Fadwa Al Qasem
I Am what i art
Confessions. Art Journaling. Art. Writing. Poetry. Play. And everything life in between.
And why do we still even ask this question?
Hello creative beings,
Some time ago I started a series of artwork called Chaos of the Body. In this part of the world (Dubai) with a metropolitan audience, some feel these images are too sexy. Others tell me I am courageous to create and post them. And others think they are offensive - or, my favourite Arabic word to hate "Ayeb" which means shameful.
This collection started off as a tribute to my maternal grandmother who died of breast cancer. The meaning behind the work changed and evolved to include all women who passed on, and those who survived and thrived beyond the cancer.
As I created more and more of these women, and they began to populate my studio, I realized they are a tribute to all women. They are a vision; a statement about women's bodies and how they are viewed by others and even more by ourselves.
Every morning I look at my body in the mirror. Some might already find this statement shocking, sensationalist, egotistical, provocative. In truth, it is none of that.
I’m not looking for flaws.
I’m not searching for ten affirmations to repeat to myself ten times a day. (I'm sick of the word affirmations, anyway).
I’m not looking to condone or abuse. I’m look at my body and I can’t think it’s embarrassing, ugly, or even beautiful - by whose standards, anyway?
I look at my body to see all of me. To be grateful. To remember that this body is also my mind and my spirit. The whole connected package. Rather, the one. Not a package, but the single form that is everything.
I look at it and I realize I would be nothing without it. I could do nothing without it. How can I listen to those who say I should be ashamed of it?
This artwork is not about perfection. Or beauty. Or sex. They are about everything it is to be woman. My pieces are about taking charge of your own body. About freeing your mind from all the taboos connected to a body you did not choose but in which you will live for the next few decades. About this tangible form which will give you so much strength, joy, movement, pleasure, and pain. About how you connect with your own body, and how you choose to treat it and think of it.
This body will teach you much if you let it.
It will take you places, if you stop thinking about it as a monument or a temple or a place where taboo terrorists hide. If you stop using it as a tool to manipulate yourself and others, or to damn, hate, belittle yourself and others. Once you simply let go of all negatives and positives about your body. It’s a tool for living a life that will fulfill you, if you stop thinking of it as something separate.
Once you realize it is what it is. This is not your body. This is you.
I Am What I Art
P.S. To see more Chaos of the Body artwork, click here
Materials & Art Tips
It took me a while to go for painting on large canvases.
You know, the usual culprits: Am I wasting material? Can I fill the space?
Well, I have one tip for you; go for it anyway.
There's no way you will ever know what you can do or learn how to do what you want to do,
if you don't do!
You can try going bigger on flip chart paper, canvas paper, large painting pads. By the way,
when you buy pre-stretched canvas, get good quality. It makes a difference to the final results.
The cotton, the priming.
Also make sure there's a gap between the canvas and the frame so that when you draw and paint, the borders of the frame don't end up leaving obvious lines in your work.
Practice Tips Play!
Try out different materials - inks, water colours, pastels, pens, chalk, charcoal, lipstick, eyeliner .. I don't care. Just try. Work them together. Alone. Turn your painting around and look at it - really look.
Make time to create art - like you make time for the gym. This is a workout for your soul, people! Plus, creating art as a Deliberate Practice allows you to:
Dear Juicy Creative Spirits,
If you'd love to receive inspirations and know what's new for you here
to keep your mouth watering and heart singing,
then please send me your email. I promise not to give out your emails, spam you, or hard sell you anything. xxx
Fadwa Al Qasem
Email me if you are interested in purchasing my art.
(c) Copyright Fadwa Al Qasem 2015