A discussion about art, design, and living creatively with female artists and makers from across the MENASA region.
Dana Barqawi is a Palestinian Jordanian multidisciplinary artist and urban planner who studied architecture, International Cooperation, Urban Development and Emergency Architecture. In this episode Dana talks about her past experience working in humanitarian sectors and how she decided to become a full time artist. We dive in deep about her upbringing outside of her native land and how she utilizes her art as a tool to communicate these social political issues that explore indigenous identities and challenge colonial narratives.Having grown up surrounded by female artisans, Dana's work is rich in texture and detail and makes an ode to her Palestinian heritage, keeping these voices and identities strong and alive. #FreePalestine
Working out of her home studio between India and Spain, Rithika Merchant produces the most fantastical paintings which incorporate creatures and botanical elements inspired by myths and epics across geography. Rithika talks about making lifestyle choices to support her career and dream, the importance of putting your work out into the world, not knowing who might see it and approach you (you will know more about this in our chat), not being afraid of rejection, and of course her art process.
Lena Kassicieh is a Palestinian-American multi disciplinary artist and maker. She talks about growing up in a family of doctors and medical professionals, beauty school dreams, and letting her innate curiosity and attraction to whimsical and ironic everyday life observations pour into her creative process . We follow Lena’s journey from New Mexico to Amman and then to Dubai and learn about her experiences in the art world which empowered her to realize, accept, and validate herself as an artist. It was such a pleaser to speak with Lena about her art process, thought process, and creative living.
Tamara Barrage is a Lebanese Artist and Designer recently based in Dubai. She earned a masters degree in product design in Lebanon then later got her second masters degree specializing in contextual design from the Netherlands. Her work explores tactile and sensorial characteristics of various materials. I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with Tamara about her obsession with texture and her crazy studio experiences. We talked a lot about corn and chainsaws and had a good laugh. You will understand once you get deep into the conversation. Her work is intriguing, makes you curious, and maybe even repulsed ( her words not mine!) and creates a dialogue and connection that she enjoys experiencing and observing from others. Thank you for sharing your story Tamara 🖤
Afshan Daneshvar is a visual artist who's work is deeply rooted and inspired by her Persian culture and upbringing. Afshan talks about her journey on becoming an artist, how she fell in love with paper, and how a vintage notebook from her grandfather spoke to her like a language of secrets and inspired the repetitious theme and process in her work. In this heartfelt conversation we talk about the relationship of the artist and their studio, geographical moves, and the unexpected challenges caused by the pandemic.
With childhood anecdotes and stories about how art brought her closer to her children, Emirati Artist Maitha Hamdan, immerses us in her creative and artistic life. Maitha talks about being a multi disciplinary artist and business woman, how she came back to art after leaving it during a rough patch in her life, and offers some insight on mom guilt and self care.