How would you describe your work?
My work explores the psycho-physical. Through painting and drawing I like to challenge the areas in which the physical world and psychological coincide. Painting on a large size has enabled me to have the freedom to get lost in the make-believe spaces that I paint and the narratives that build up as a result. Due to the fact that each painting takes nearly a month and sometimes more to make, they go through so many narrative and contextual turns, making it difficult to pin point exactly “what they are about”. I try not to describe or translate my paintings too literally as I feel like the experience of making them is completely different to that of looking at them and I find that quite exciting and wouldn’t wish to alter that experience for the viewer by describing them too much.
Do you see yourself moving away from painting and into different artistic practices?
I do a lot of drawing and print work along side my paintings. I found that etching takes up a very important role in my work and I plan to do that more in the coming year. I have been considering working with sculpture, which may be a route I go down in the near future. That being said I don’t think I would move away from painting but I definitely would like to incorporate different techniques and materials into my work generally.
Which artists would you say have influences your work the most?
While the artists I look at vary depending on what I’m working on I would say that Henry de Toulouse Lautrec has consistently been a big influence. I have always found myself being fascinated by his way of observing through painting. The theatricality in his work triggered my interest in creating drama when painting. Other artists who have also had a prominent influence on my work are; James Ensore and Bosch.
What are your plans
for the future?
The past four years of being in art school have been extremely stimulating and nourishing for my practice but after my degree show I decided I wanted to experience the reality of the art world. In a way considering ‘what happens beyond the studio’.
Generally, I intend to get a studio in which I can keep making work while taking up exhibition opportunities, residencies and so on. I am currently doing a three month residency resulting in a solo show in London with VO currations this September. This experience has been very exciting and made me consider the many ways I can push my paintings through building a body of work in consideration of the space in which it will be exhibited. This is also good as it will prepare me for another solo show that I will be doing in Los Angeles in May 2020 with Lowell Ryan Projects.
Where do you see yourself basing your studio in the next couple of years?
I am hoping to base my practice in London as I feel I have begun building strong links in the London art scene as well as being part of an amazing community of artists that I have met over the past few years.
I have also been offered a place at the Royal Drawing School, which would be an incredible opportunity and offers a studio space in London.
Would you say that being a Lebanese artist who has been based in London has affected the subject matter of your work?
Yes, heavily. Through my paintings I attempt to create an alternate world, which combines elements of the various places (mental and physical) that I recall. I often incorporate colours and patterns that I take in when I’m home (in Beirut) and use them to “decorate” the psychological interiors which to merge the visual information I take in from both London and Lebanon.
Given the opportunity, would you want to have an exhibition in Lebanon?
Absolutely. Just like my work bridges between Lebanon and the UK, I would love to physicalize that through showing work in both and creating a conversation between the two. Lebanon is so rich in culture and the energy directed towards the arts is extremely invigorating! To be part of the art community in both Beirut and London is definitely something I aim to achieve.