What influences your painting process?
For me, it’s often the music that I choose to listen to while I paint. Happy, upbeat music, for example, lends itself very well to fun mark making. Hand pans help me get into a more happy, floaty, flow-like painting state.
Needless to say, I’m always experimenting with the music that I listen to while I paint.
When I started this particular painting, I was listening to a Coke Studio playlist on Spotify. When Bismillah by Salim – Sulaiman, featuring Kailash Kher and Munawar Masoom came on, it captivated me and inspired the piece I was working on.
Listening to the song on repeat, I simply let the words and the emotions of the song inform the colors and lines on the page. The deep devotion, the reverence, combined with thoughts of rising intolerance, Islamophobia, and othering.
There is a rawness to this music that amplified the sorrow and despair within me. There is hope in this music, which inspired the colors and the line work, and the overall piece.
As I was painting, the word Mazaar kept reverberating in my head. The idea of a sacred place, in quiet disrepair.
Mazaar, meaning shrine or tomb according to Rekhta Foundation.
A shrine and also a tomb. A place of reverence and also of anguish. The feelings this brings up feel too vast to contain in words. The silent scream too loud in my head.
So I let it be this: An old building. Peeling paint. Flowers growing wild outside. A setting sun painting the sides of the building gold.
The Mazaar, where hope and despair live together. Dreaming of a better, more just tomorrow.
Acrylics and charcoal on paper
Available for purchase
I’m curious: What do you see in this piece?