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Shermeen Sidiki


         I love the movement in a drawing that captures the eye, then leads it to an opening and allows it to breathe. The motifs of my drawings draw the viewer in with their intricacy and detail and as the viewer follows the pattern they suddenly find themselves going from restriction to expansion, reflecting a type of spiritual awakening that comes from taking in the meanings of the Quranic verses or poetic expressions.  As people observe my drawings, I love to watch their eyes as they follow along with the art and then light up with a smile!  

        Each of my drawings lives with me and becomes an extension of who I am. My initial tools are the compass and the ruler. I first start with a heavy tessellated geometric pattern and then add Arabesque florals and illumination. Once the design is completed I use my favorite medium, soft pastels, to add fun and color.   Sometimes I start with words that I have fallen in love with. Either Arabic from the Quran that always has a sea of meaning or Urdu poetry with spiritual interpretations.  At other times I start with a design that just starts to appear as I put pencil to paper and follow my instincts. The words are often added at the end of the process to complete the composition. The writing makes my art speak to the viewer and gives it additional layers of meaning. As I start to introduce composition to the art, certain forms get highlighted while others are suppressed and soon a pattern emerges. I absolutely love that moment of instantaneous creativity and the message of beauty that I like to share with the world.

        In the world of art in general and Islamic art in particular, my work is genuinely unique and original. My particular style consisting of complex geometric patterns that resemble fractals seems to bring order out of chaos. Combined with florals and the serene rhythm of Arabic or Urdu calligraphy, they can be combined to form a breathtaking experience of meaningful art overflowing with spiritual insights.  Where words fall short, images step in to fill the void of expression. The motifs, the illumination, the closed and the open, all work together in a beautiful vocabulary and a whole new language for the viewer to immerse themselves in. It’s like looking into a mirror that reflects the image of your soul and being mesmerized by art that speaks to you.





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