Samiah Khashoggi‘s ‘Patches’ deals with social issues

1 / 6
2 / 6
3 / 6
4 / 6
5 / 6
6 / 6
Updated 22 May 2014
0

Samiah Khashoggi‘s ‘Patches’ deals with social issues

Artists always portrait their inner feelings, emotions and thoughts on the canvas with colors and lines.
Samiah Khashoggi is an artist who loves to portray her opinions on the canvas and share it with people. She, however, never forces her thoughts on the other person’s mind as she always keeps open the doors of thinking and making decisions.
Khashoggi holds a bachelor degree in interior design from Kingston University (1983), and a master degree in Fine Arts from De Montfort University in Leicester, UK (2006). Her life is divided between her job as an assistant professor of interior design at Dar Al-Hekma College and her art practice since 1990 until present. She has exhibited at numerous group shows. She received an award by Saudia Al-Malwan in 1990; various local art collectors have acquired her artwork. Her first solo was in 2000 at Al-Alamiya Art Gallery in Jeddah where she exhibited 48 paintings in oil. She is the founder of Saudiaat in 2005, a women artists’ group diverse in their styles and techniques united by their gender and solidarity. The group has successfully exhibited four times: 1st- Identities Unveiled, 2nd- Expressions, 3rd- Dialogues, and 4th- Directions. She is also the founder of Midrar, in 2013, an art hub to enhance women’s aesthetic experiences and awareness of contemporary art practices.
Her recent solo exhibition comprises 20 paintings and art work of “Mashi Mashi”. It is titled “Patches,” and portrays the issue of social patching.
“We live our lives without really addressing or resolving our personal problems, at all levels, be it social, spiritual or political, we have become masters in disguising our unresolved issues, we patch up and move on, when we try to resolve, we often here the Arabic phrase “Mashi Mashi” which means move along, even if these issues remain unresolved and buried,” she said.
She added the exhibition’s message is that we patch up consistently and build layers after layers of hidden and camouflaged issues, creating a false and unrealistic exterior image that is often aesthetically pleasing but none the less deceptive.
She said that she used mixed media and the technique of collage to create the multiple layers she needs to best execute her statement.
“At first glance, the art work may look like one surface suggestive of the pretty picture we try to present to others, but as one approaches and looks closely, layers will be seen representing the many attempts people try in hiding their problems perhaps to enable them to carry on with their lives,” she added. 
She said her art work is divided in to different subgroups and each group represents different scenarios, as relationships between mother and daughter, husband and wife, emotions and link between siblings, friends, and relatives depicting the different dynamics of these relationships where one would normally “patch up”.
She said she also presented a seat which is a symbol of power that is hanging by threads and is representing an unstable position. “People will constantly lose sight of what is truly important by attempting to reach for these high set positions. There are also contemplations and lost dreams of women looking either disappointed or hopeful, deliberately left untitled to allow viewers to create their own narratives,” she said.
She picked different scenarios of life and its problems, such as, power, the relationships between husband and wife, siblings, women and their friends and so on.
She explained that she divided the series in to two main groups. The chair hanging in the middle representing power, titles and class does not belong to either group.
“Through that I want to tell society that it’s not about titles, positions or PhD’s, it’s what you can do for the country and people, its problems, such as, racism and discrimination in society, as it affects me as person. I want quality, I want people to do their best regardless of any title,” she explained. 
She said the old buildings in Balad are the responsibility of the owners of these houses or the private sector, which is equally responsible and can help in preserving the beautiful heritage of Jeddah.
The artist’s love for pattern and designs are clearly reflected in the use of collage that worked as a significant foundation for all her canvases. Regardless of the fact that these paintings can be relative to everyone who observes them, the artist stayed true to her style with her popular use of colors, details, and broad use of mediums.
Khashoggi advised new generation artists that they should stay true to their own style, and that they shouldn’t copy.

[email protected]


‘Roma’ delivers soul, spirit — and a dash of Mexican magic

A still from ‘Roma.’ (Supplied)
Updated 36 min 30 sec ago
0

‘Roma’ delivers soul, spirit — and a dash of Mexican magic

CHENNAI: Tipped as a strong Oscar contender, Alfonso Cuaron’s magnificent black-and-white magnum opus, “Roma,” weaves a magical family tale with endearing simplicity and sensitivity.
The film is set in a prosperous household in Mexico City’s Roma neighborhood in the early 1970s. But its soul and spirit come from the maid, Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), who takes care of the family — and their pet dog — with clockwork precision.
Based on Cuaron’s own maid when he was growing up, Cleo is seen cleaning the driveway as the movie opens, and we later see her doing the laundry, taking the four children to school and helping out in the kitchen. For the most part, Cleo hardly speaks, and appears stoic and solemn, but she shares a beautiful bond with her mistress, Sofia (Marina de Tavira).
Dotted with intimate detail, “Roma” is a splendid study of a family whose idyllic life goes into a tailspin, as does that of the maid. Scenes including the children trying to put out a forest fire while on holiday are so finely shot that they remain etched in memory.
There are many more such moments: A man shot dead in a furniture shop during the 1971 Corpus Christi massacre; Cleo saving two children from drowning in the sea. It is rare to see such thought going into a film, and the compelling black-and-white photography — handled by Cuaron (who also wrote and co-edited) — give “Roma” a strong documentary feel.
The film continues to make headlines after appearing on Netflix on Dec. 14. It premiered at the Venice Film Festival, where it clinched the Golden Lion for best picture, and is now on the first shortlist for the 2019 foreign language Oscar.
Cuaron, who gave us the exhilarating “Y Tu Mama Tambien,” and fantasies such as “Gravity” and “Children of Men,” has created a neorealist work that is both grand in scale and extraordinarily intimate.