Faiza Mubarak is a self-taught abstract artist from the United Kingdom. Her art is the product of who she is and is a result of her memories, experiences, thoughts and dreams. Her work is greatly influenced by her diverse background, from her childhood growing up in Saudi Arabia to her British roots combined with Pakistani and Zanzibari influences.
Beauty in Difference, Faiza Mubarak
When painting, Faiza follows the unconscious and each piece is guided by the initial textures that she creates. Each layer of colour and texture added guides the creation of the next, and from this she tries to capture the perfect in the imperfect. Each piece is a discovery of her truth and an expression of her inner voice. We talked to Faiza about textural abstract techniques and creating beauty from chaos.
How have your experiences from childhood growing up in Saudi Arabia, to your British roots combined with Pakistani and Zanzibari heritage influenced your work?
I paint what I have felt, seen and experienced which is all shaped by the different cultures I have been lucky enough to be a part of. When painting I draw upon the various aspects that have touched me and the beauty I found in these experiences which can be anything from the elegant and majestic golden calligraphy in Mosques, South East Asian embroidery, literature by the likes of Rumi and Jane Austen, sandy desserts and lush forests to cultural traditions and beliefs. My art is the amalgamation of my life experiences which is heavily influenced by all the cultures that make me who I am.
Secret Dreams, Faiza Mubarak
You describe yourself as a textural abstract artist. What led you to this creative path of expression?
I truly found my creative path during lockdown. The pandemic turned everybody’s lives upside down including mine, and 2020 was one of the hardest years of my life, in which I had to face a lot of difficult situations, and I could feel myself getting lost. That’s when I first started to properly paint as a way to escape the madness and in those moments, I would lose myself in the beauty of textures and layers of colour and really be free. I found myself drawn to textural abstract art as I loved how the sculptural nature of the pieces would create several different stories all within one painting, a little like a person and their life. I was fascinated by how you could always find a new story or detail of the painting to fall in love with or connect with no matter how many times you would look at the piece.
What are the concepts behind your work and what are you hoping to communicate to the viewer?
Escapism, even if it’s just for a few seconds or minutes so that you can focus on you. The way I feel when painting. To lose yourself and find some meaning that relates to you. The beauty of textures means each section of the painting is completely different. I want the viewer to first look at the painting as a whole and feel the emotions that arise and then find some detail within the painting that connects with them and explore what it means to them - the feelings and memories that are evoked. To use my paintings to discover their own inner truth.
Lost in Dreams, Faiza Mubarak
Your work emerges from chaos into a beautiful harmony of textures and colour. Can you explain your creative process?
When painting I like to lose myself and allow my feelings, thoughts and memories to guide me. Each texture I create guides the creation of the next, each a hidden emotion or memory resurfacing. Layers of colour are used to bring the textures together and this process is repeated until there is a beautiful balance of colours and textures. Each piece of artwork that I create is a discovery of my truth and an expression of my inner voice.
Which is your favourite work you have created to date and why?
Each piece is special to me as each one is a little part of me so its very difficult to choose a favourite! If I had to choose, I guess I would say “Silence” as that piece was the most challenging for me as it took months to complete as I really wanted to capture a feeling of coldness and loneliness, a state of despair that comes with being silenced…. When I reached the end with this piece it had everything that I wanted to depict, and it was a struggle to get there so that combined with the fact that it was also exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery in London does make it an extra special piece for me!
Silence, Faiza Mubarak
As an artist, what are your future aspirations?
To keep evolving as an Artist and learning new ways to express myself though textures as I really do learn something new with each piece that I complete. I would love to explore a deeper influence of my culture and heritage within my artwork, especially when creating textures, from the beautiful elegance of henna to the intricate detailed embroidery work on South East Asian clothing such as dabka and zardozi as well as incorporating textures that capture the beauty of Islamic geometric patterns. I am currently working on these collections and can’t wait to share these pieces of artwork.
Pieces, Faiza Mubarak
How has Islamic art influenced your work?
The essence of Islamic Art is spirituality and seeks to find the meaning behind things and looks at the spiritual nature of people and beliefs rather than the physical and this aspect of Islamic Art heavily influences my work. It is what I do. I look for an almost spiritual meaning behind each texture and detail in my paintings to make sense of the subconscious, be it a feeling or an experience.
What does the future of Islamic art look like to you?
Islamic Art is changing, traditional techniques and styles are being given a new modern twist which has resulted in it being more accessible. In this day and age it so important to showcase the beauty of Islam to all and it astounds me to see how many incredibly talented Muslim artists are out there, all sharing with the world just how beautiful Islam really is.
For more information check out https://www.faizamubarakart.com/
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