Born to Pray Series

2017
works on paper

First piece: 
The Prophet
2017
ink on paper
12" x 12", unframed

I've made a few pieces that have similar imagery to this one (see Subliminal Weaving-Drawing). It is a natural way for me to draw, creating composition through textural density. It emerges line by line; I scribble here, fill in over there. I do not know what the final composition will look like, and only stop drawing when I think there is enough balance within the piece. 

I call it The Prophet because this type of imagery reminds me of a topographical map. The piece's composition intuitively comes together, and I see it as a journey through my subconscious. I relate this to the hero's journey, as explained and annotated by Joseph Campbell. Contextually, this piece is reminiscent of my journey to Lebanon this year, and is loosely named after Gibran Khalil Gibran's poetry.

 

Second piece:
Daughter of an Immigrant
2017
graphite and acrylic on book pages
12" x 12", unframed

This piece was born from a series of signs I created in response to the travel ban. I was in studio when the first travel ban was announced, and as a direct reaction I pulled out the first surface I could find (book pages) and the only paint I had on hand (red acrylic). The phrase "Daughter of an Immigrant" came to mind, with several following: "First Generation Arab-American," "Palestinian and Proud," "My Family is Legal" among others. I painted each phrase on the pages and posted them outside my studio on the door.

This piece revisits the same format I created those signs with, but in an edited way. The book pages for this piece were leftovers from my River piece. I then copied notes from my journal I wrote in while I was in Lebanon this year, layering the words on top of each other, the last layer being my first phrase in red paint.
 

 

Third piece:
Man Against the Desert
2017
collage on paper
12" x 12", unframed

This method of collage has been part of my imagery for a few years, much like the ink drawing. I choose several pages from magazines before I begin, selecting my palette. I use matte medium as an adhesive, building layers and guiding the composition intuitively. I liken this avenue of my work to piecing. Piecing in the sense of a quilt top or putting a story together. It is a way for the viewer to exercise using their peripheral vision as well as their central focus; perhaps even a way to navigate our blind spots.