I have lived and worked in Andalusia for over 20 years and now divide my time between Europe and the Middle East. My artistic expression evolved from my multicultural background, my visual art and interior design studies in Florence, my diverse linguistic studies, and the heritage of the places I have lived in. The legacy of the ancient trade routes, the cultural sub layering between East and West, and the enormous contribution to humanity of Al-Andalus inspired me to reference its inclusive values as a way to work against stereotypes and violence.
Deeply troubled by the tragedy of September 11th, I decided to study Arabic. This brought me to develop a new artistic concept in which I pay tribute and appropriate the Arabic language and Islamic aesthetic traditions — not to supplant but rather to complement my own cultural and religious background. In my search for connecting to ‘the Middle Eastern soul’ I reach out from one media into another to recapture the dignity and balance of Islamic culture, and explore how the universal values of poetry can be used to resolve conflict and address collective memories.
In my work process I meld the traditions of both East and West: I reclaim the illuminated manuscript for its association with the notions of transience and permanence and I attempt a new way of looking at the connective powers of old Islamic art forms and how they can relate to contemporary communication in the age of social networking. I reference my themes by borrowing from architecture, archaeology, geography and astronomy.
The undercurrent of my work is an appeal to our common humanity and shared universal human values. Through my symbiotic artistic expression of two entwined cultures, I hope to reach beyond the socio-political divisions of fundamentalism and islamophobia and motivate a positive change in the conception of ‘the other’ as culturally or spiritually impermeable. In my works I aim to appeal to the universal soul of our human condition, that which is within each of us and that transcends time and geographical space.