"The purpose of my art is to inspire you, the viewer of my work, to think, to absorb, maybe even to meditate but most importantly - to create a conversation."
This is an interview with Siddiqa Juma, nominee in the Global Art Awards 2017, with the award ceremony at the Armani Dubai, Burj Khalifa on 17.11.17 where the winners will be announced over 18 categories, such as Painting, Street Art, Photography and many more... Seat reservation is possible online.
Tell us about your nominated art piece for the Global Art Awards?
The nominated art piece is called Diversity. It is 1metre x 1metre acrylic on canvas and is covered by resin. The painting has the Holy Kaabah at the centre and is then surrounded by multitude daubs of colours – literally thousands upon thousands of brush strokes, layered one on top of the other, each colour although unique lets the colour beneath shine through. Every brush stroke representing a being – unique in everyway and made all the more wonderful when their path are crossed by another. The painting is of a carnival of diversity, all united by one faith to the one God, and by their calling to the House of God which transmits a constant radiant energy.
How does it make you feel that you are a nominee for the Global Art Awards?
To have been nominated for the Global Art Awards by the awards own Jury’s board feels truly humbling. Whilst I have painted throughout my entire life, I never really anticipated where this journey of art was going to take me. My career as an artist was somewhat of a happy accident and one that I am ever so grateful for, but to receive a once-in-a-lifetime nomination like this one for a Global Art Award and to have received recognition on an international scale and with such an eminent jury, is mind-blowing and is something that I am extremely grateful for.
How would you react if you win a Global Art Award at the Armani Dubai Burj Khalifa surrounded by international Press and the Elite from the Art World?
To be honest, I think it would be impossible for me to even attempt to guess how I would react. This would undoubtedly be the pinnacle of my career to-date so I suspect it will be unbelievable and amazing at the same time. I feel honoured to have been nominated and be amongst the best in the art world. The thought that my art could be a winner in front of giants in the industry feels almost like an out of this world experience. When I paint, it is as though I am portraying my inner-most thoughts and meditation on a canvas. There is a lot of personal and emotional investment in everything that I do, so to win the award and to receive such an accolade and recognition would be huge.
How would you describe yourself? And your artwork?
This is an interesting question and certainly one that my family and friends would love to answer! I am a mother first and foremost and I place my family at the centre of everything that I do. To my parents, I was destined to be a pharmacist, though I trained to be and qualified as a graphic designer. My career however took a backseat when I became a mother, although once my children had grown and as I began to paint more and more, I slowly began to exhibit at the insistence of a friend. I was truly touched at how positively people reacted to my work.
My artwork has always been about conveying the messages of Unity, Peace and Love as the overarching ideals. I draw most strength, inspiration and drive from my unending desire to find commonalities in human beings and all that unites us. I am particularly inspired by the beauty of Islam and to that end, much of my art is influenced by my religion and my own personal relationship with God. I am a British Muslim artist and for me both identities are important. I hope that in my work you will find that Islamic-inspired art can be contemporary and speak to an audience that identify with current art trends and appeal to those who wish to have contemporary Islamic art in their homes.
Can you tell us what your 'Before I Die' is?
My ultimate wish and objective is to use my art to impact social engagement on a large scale. Whether it is a collaborative activity which bring communities together or one that engages inter-community discussion, I would love to create art installations and paintings that would spark interesting conversations. Winning an award like this would give me the necessary exposure and the platform that I need to be able to do this, as art is one of the few media through which you can bring people together and unite. I would love to have been the catalyst to get young people involved in art. I want to leave behind a legacy that has purpose on a community-level and not be known necessarily as a stand-alone artist who painted only for herself or simply for commercial gain. And if I could leave this earth with the knowledge that I played a part in this, then that would make me very happy.