BY RUQAYA AL KINDI
The year 2020 is, in many ways, both literally and metaphorically an epic year. While it caused a lot of distress and losses in the world, people still managed to spread humour through conversations, comments and drawings about the events that are going on. It could be these people’s way of lightening up the situation and ease the complications triggered by this pandemic. Not surprising, even artists, too, are getting inspiration from pop culture and whatever is happening around them, they are getting inspiration that fuels their passion.
Local artist Wafa Basheer has joined the wagon and has found a way of creating her commentary through art. Mixing humour and sarcasm, she believes that this is a great way of getting rid of the burdens brought about by the latest happenings.
As an artist, Wafa has turned to surrealism to convey how she feels about the situation. The mixture of reality and imagination proved to be an engaging way to convey her message.
“My art is quite varied. I included the bushfires of Australia. I have one piece where I imagined that the Al Sahwah Tower found here in Muscat is being controlled by aliens. It’s a playful way of making a commentary about some wild speculations going around,” she shared laughing.
The humour of her pieces is inspired by real-life events that are wreaking havoc to different lives from across the world. She even tackled the closure of borders and the isolation of people due to the outbreak of the virus.
“This one piece I have, the bridge denotes communication and connection, and this symbol is generally recognized in literature and art. In my paint, it is a symbol of the connection of the lands that have been closed due to the ban,” she shared.
“This painting is one of the latest artwork I created to represent the reality around me, inspired by people’s conversations and concerns,” she shared.
“Everything can inspire me; the good and the bad, nature, events, sounds, images, literally everything,” she explained.
She started drawing early in age as any other child who finds a pen.
“I believe in art as a tool of conservation for history and civilizations. It is just like writing something to document it. It is a documentation of events in a splendid way where you enjoy watching and at the same time you learn”.
“I find myself in art, and somehow art is good at containing my thoughts and feelings. The outcome always makes people appreciate colours,” she added.
“Women” is one of Wafa’s preferred topics and this led to a single-colour abstract series and calligraphy. It is about the features of local Arab women.
“Here I tried to draw figures of women like me. I wanted to immortalise who we are and what we look like through these pieces and having art pieces that represent a particular group of people help the topic of representation and diversity. It’s a way of honouring my origin,” she shared.
She called one of her other painting “Give me a hug”.
“I painted it in oil colours and what this shows is the desperation of people for life. The characters here have become colorless, pale or cold hearted,” she noted.
“It is hard for me to do art for money, but I do it sometimes. It is, therefore, mostly a hobby and passion more than a career that brings money. I have bigger plans that won’t harm the pure message of art,” she explained.
She added that she likes to make her artwork pieces with a special feeling, and let people who really appreciate them own or acquire them; people who could read them and those who are open with their thoughts and feelings.
“ I always have something to say in the form of art because I want to leave something behind when I’m no longer here. Art could live forever,” she expressed.