- The Brave Ones Journey, collage, hand embroidery, and gouache, 6″x8″
- She is a Beacon of Hope, hand embroidery and watercolor, 14″x21″
- The Courageous, hand embroidery, watercolor, and collage, 12″x18″
- Contemplation, hand embroidery, acrylic, and collage, 6″x8″
- The Struggle Between My Dreams and Reality, hand embroidery and collage, 22″x30″
- Pillars of Strength, hand embroidery, gouache, and collage, 9″x12″
- Peace, hand embroidery, 22″x30″
- In spite of the unknown, she is the reflection of strength, hand embroidery, watercolor, and graphite, 22″x30″
Love Letters – Press Release
A visual love letter is a visual expression of my compassion, hopes, and dreams, depicted through mixed media paintings, for refugees around the world. My work involves collage, watercolor, and hand embroidery. I combine embroidered elements taken from Islamic architecture with collaged imagery from current events, while using a slightly updated color palette to express my hopes and dreams for refugees everywhere.
My connection to refugees began during my graduate studies. Throughout graduate school, I studied about many people’s movements that were started because they protested about their desires for certain freedoms or changes to their government structure. However, these movements were quickly quelled with violence and the threat of violence dealt by the government, leaving people feeling desperate and helpless. Consequently, these people had to escape their countries, their homes, and all they loved to take refuge elsewhere in order to live life without the fear of violent backlash. Those who were unable to leave because of their circumstances had to endure instability and oppression within their homeland.
In this day and age of Islamophobia fueled by propaganda, I wanted to not only acknowledge refugees, but refugees who largely practice the Islamic faith to show how amazing their culture is, while at the same time humanizing their experience.
Known for its seemingly infinite repetition of shapes, colors, and patterns symbolizing unity and love, I was awed by the beauty of Islamic architecture. Researching the history and culture of these wondrous mosques led me further down the path to learn about the history of Islam. What I discovered was even more fantastic than what I could have ever expected. At the fall of the Roman Empire, Islamic scholars were studying the teachings of great Western scholars. The Islamic people took these teachings and put them into use by performing the first ocular surgery and also building the first organized infirmary, what we have come to know today as hospitals, for example. In short, the Islamic culture continued the path of Western philosophical and scientific thought and advanced it prior to the Renaissance.
I believe that if we learn more about each other to gain a better understanding of one another, we will have less fear about other people’s beliefs and live in a more compassionate world.
Many thanks to the very talented DLR Foto for some of these images!