Artiez Blog

Alefiyah Raja

Alefiyah Raja

For me, to be an artist is the exquisite ability to use colors to express myself through art. That's why I am an artist, the colors reflecting every mood and every changing emotion, the fluidity resonating within me. Every painting leads to a place where I am me and that can never change, ever.

The moment the painting is done I realize that I'm consciously trying to savour the feeling, which prompts me to identify it, pick it apart and put it in context, where it will slowly dissolve until it's little more than an aftertaste, and then it has a life of its own, having taken some part of me along a fantastic journey. 

For me a painting is a relationship or a friendship which I thought had faded long ago but is still somehow alive and unfinished, like an abandoned campsite whose shouldering embers still have the power to start a forest fire.

Although I reflect on each process and layer with the sharpness of a mirror, the true picture of how it comes out somehow reaches me softened and distorted, each painting giving me a plethora of memories with one dominant emotion. That is why I look at every painting in terms of how it makes me feel rather than how I look at it.

At the end of a painting, having reached a moment when a conversation becomes real and alive, there is a spark of trust that shorts out the delicate circuits that are insulated under layers of emotions, and it is that point of being grounded, that removes the static emotional charge built up through decades of friction with the world.

Life is only a reflective memory of what we allow ourselves to see.

Salma Alam

Salma Alam

Salma, a post graduate in design, in is a self-taught artist who works in oils, pastels, and ink. Her work is an experiment in different processes and unconventional methods and techniques to produce striking textures and patterns.

Islamic lusterware produced between the 9th and the 14th centuries forms the key visual element in almost all of Salma’s paintings. The Islamic potter and historian Abu’l Qasim rightly described this effect in 1300 AD saying, “that which has been evenly fired reflects like red gold and shines like the light of the sun”. Salma captures the visual thrill of light playing across the surface of lusterware.

She uses vegetal patterns and designs and merges and melts them to recreate imagery in brown lustres and blue black under glaze paint. Oil washes serve as glazes, usually in shades of bluish greens, browns and ochres and turquoise stained purples to mimic the ceramics of central Asia.

Pieces and bits of calligraphy; whether the angular Kufic script or the delicate Naskh script, are woven into the rendering of her compositions.  She likes to use ornamental backgrounds, echoing of a bygone ethos, overlaid with a bold and stylized foreground.