Friday, 9 January 2015

Middle Eastern Poet & Artist Shurooq Amin

Hello and Happy New Year. Wishing 2015 to be just as you desire.   
After returning from a wonderful holiday break, I feel excited, energised and ready for the year ahead. I am especially looking forward to writing many more posts for my Obsessions blog as well as stylebygessica (which next week will feature summer work wear). 
On that note, I hope you enjoy my first post for 2015.

I came across Kuwaiti born Shurooq Amin's work whilst living in Dubai a few years ago. An artist who is known for her provocative mixed media paintings, Amin's work largely reflects socio-cultural issues in Arab society, as well as the role of women and men therein. Alongside her artistic talent, Amin is a well know poet whose work has been widely published and led her to be the first Kuwaiti to be nominated for the prestigious USA Pushcart prize in 2007.    

Passionate about instigating change in middle eastern society, her pieces: a combination of photography and painting has generated controversy. Amin's exhibition in 2012 It's a Man's World was shut down and closed by police within two hours of opening after being criticised as being pornographic.Yet only twelve months later in 2013 she was awarded the title of artist of the year by the Arab Woman Awards and has since become the first Kuwaiti woman to be auctioned at Christie's. 

I enjoy looking at her colourful and somewhat playful paintings. Aesthetically pleasing yet at the same time, clearly depicting the messages behind them. I admire her courage and look forward to seeing more of her work. I hope you do too. 

It's a Man's World: 2012
My Mistress and Family
He Loves me, He Love me Not
I Like Him, I Like Her
His Dilemma
The Big Bling
'Amin depicts her anonymous, multi-generational figures with whimsy and irony as she reveals the intrinsic contradictions of a conservative society built on hidden lives, collective denial, and widespread corruption. Exploring the cultural chasms of modern-day Arab society as it becomes increasingly escapist and steered by global consumerism and popular culture, Amin’s works frequently return to one of the most universally taboo subjects: the traditional familial structure and the gender roles that maintain it.' Ayyam Gallery.

Popcornographic: 2013
A Man of No Importance
An Arabian Tragedy
Blind New World
Shades of Tattoo
We'll Build This City on Art and Love: 2014. Currently on at the Ayyam Gallery, London
Family Portrait; I'm lonely, I have it All, I'm a Bully, I'm religious
Family Portrait: I'm Lonely, I have it All, I smoke, I'm Gay
We Are the Future
And to finish off this post, here is one of Shurooq's poems. To view and read more of her work, please go to her website here or the Ayyam Gallery

The Other Wife

I wrote to you on frankincense-scented 

paper, green ink frilled, blotted, bruised 

with sequined teardrops, and when my 

gem-rimmed words oozed out, like resin 

from the winged serpent-guarded 

frankincense tree, and solidified onto 

the red-earth paper, buckling into 

schizophrenic calligraphy, morphing 
into crushed-velvet roots, the green of 
that unripe-mango skin I peeled for you 
the night you left me for her, preferred 
her new rose-petal skin to my crinkled 
coriander-sprinkled rind, the green of 
my devoted Friday lunch mint-infused
overcooked okra, the green of this abbaya
oudh-soaked just for you, when my words 

oozed out – oh-so-green – onto that 

scorching red-bulbed paper, I thought 
perhaps, for once, for the sake of 
shameless years and endless dark stark 
nights of service, you’d read, listen, soften 
enough to send me all five of my children.

See you soon.
Gessica X


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