September 08, 2012
In 1967 I realized that of all Arabic alphabets the Kufic script was most contemporary. Its geometric shapes fitted perfectly into a world increasingly dominated by mathematics. Also it brought with it an extreme beauty, sadly absent in the digital interpretations of Latin alphabets and numerals. I made a personal interpretation of traditional Arabic proverbs using a Kufic inspired script and contemporary colours. Among the ten works, 9 of which were my creations, I placed one by (name here…) a 17thC Arab calligrapher. It was almost unbelievable that one of these works came from so long ago. My interest in our culture and heritage drove me to visit the Islamic sections of museums. From there came my fascination with birds as expressed in ancient art and artifacts from this part of the world. The bird motif was one of the most used. Over a period of ten years I sketched these, carefully noting their provenance; from these sketches I developed paintings that were exhibited in Paris and Beirut and led to a book “The Fifth Day” published by Dar An Nahar, Beirut, Lebanon. I believe that my bi-cultural education has helped me to attract attention, through my work, to build bridges and foster better understanding between Islamic and Middle Eastern cultures and those of the West. My hope is that my paintings can be an inspiration for the youth of the world to explore further this very rich heritage so that it can be kept alive and built upon by future generations.