In 2015 I was invited to reflect on the subject of the ‘post-oriental’ world for a group show at the gallery ‘The Mine’ in Dubai by curator Mo Reda. Our exhibition wished to see itself past it’s stereotyping, which was very difficult to do, as our world is not a secular world and as the artists, sought to produce works worthy of meaning. I personally wondered if we as a khaleeji culture saw ourselves as the West sees us and especially in the way that the rhetorical in religious beliefs is expressed amongst various generations of women in Bahrain. Generations of women who were consumed by different side effects caused by the modernisation (Secularisation) of the Gulf. Which lead some age groups to be in a certain moral conflict with another. The power relations of domination and submission between women.
My autobiographical approach to Art is extremely informed by my identity as a Bahraini Khaleeji, the way the country, family and religion I was born into has influenced my understanding. How life in the West had created inner conflicts regarding concepts of God and Virtue. These works veer into a cross-cultural lexicon of symbols. In other words, by the time I was 16 I was very aware that Bahrain’s nightlife was a brothel for prostitution which opposed the language surrounding sexual virtue by ‘Good’ Bahraini women. That language sought approval from God as the final authority of a woman’s body which differed greatly from the secular language regarding virtue, that the God of the Self materialised by information, science and universalism has the final say over a woman’s virtue.
Titled “Glory and Pain” I believe these ink drawings manifest as an obvious symbol to the subject of Post–Orientalism evident in my other works, which continue similar, thought processes. However, the other works of art in my portfolio obtain religious allegory through narrative ambiguity and the reenactment of colonial western art history from an Arab woman’s perspective.
“Glory and Pain”
Ink, Graphite & Pigment / 2015 / 27cm x 50cm / 1 &2 of 3