Samiah Khashoggi‘s ‘Patches’ deals with social issues

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Updated 22 May 2014

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.

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Yara Shahidi honored with Spotlight Award

Yara Shahidi was honored with an award at the 25th Annual Elle Women in Hollywood Celebration. (AFP)
Updated 16 October 2018

Yara Shahidi honored with Spotlight Award

DUBAI: Actress and social activist Yara Shahidi was honored with an award at the 25th Annual Elle Women in Hollywood Celebration on Monday and took to the stage to give a speech.

The Iranian-American star of TV show “Black-ish,” who has her own spinoff show called “Grown-ish,” was given the Calvin Klein Spotlight Award at an event attended by the likes of Charlize Theron, Jennifer Lopez and many more.

The 18-year-old Harvard University student is one of a star-studded list of honorees, including Lady Gaga, Shonda Rhimes and Mia Farrow.

The event also celebrated the female cast of “Black Panther” — Angela Bassett, Danai Gurira and Lupita Nyong’o — at the event in Los Angeles’ Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Shahidi sat down with the magazine for an in-depth interview published in its November 2018 issue. The teen, who hails from a highly accomplished family — one of her cousins is the rapper Nas, while another, Anousheh Ansari, was the first Iranian-American astronaut — covered everything from women in Hollywood to her political activism.

“We’re holding people accountable for their actions. There’s an intentional knowledge disparity in any industry, which is tied to the maintaining of power. I love the fact that this community of women is disintegrating that. I’ve been able to reap the benefits of it, and I’m also fortunate to have my parents with me, guiding me,” she told the magazine.

Shahidi has talked openly about her family in the past, including in a revealing social media post about her parents during the uproar about the proposed US immigration ban in 2017.

“If my baba was stuck in an airport because of a Muslim ban 39 years ago, he would have never fallen in love with my mama. I would not exist and I wouldn’t have two amazing brothers,” she posted on social media at the time.

The actress has been vocal about her Iranian-African-American heritage and even called herself “a proud Black Iranian” on Twitter.

In her most recent interview with Elle magazine, the actress expands on what causes are close to her heart.

“Immigration, gun control. There’s been a lack of humanity, especially in the policies of these past two years, policies that alienate minorities,” she said.

Lady Gaga was also awarded at the ceremony, and took to the stage to give a powerful, emotional speech about being a survivor of sexual assault.

“As a sexual assault survivor by someone in the entertainment industry, as a woman who is still not brave enough to say his name, as a woman who lives with chronic pain, as a woman who was conditioned at a very young age to listen to what men told me to do, I decided today I wanted to take the power back. Today I wear the pants,” she said at the event.