ME: Woman…Artist…Seeking the Divine
My training is in the Visual Arts of Islam with a special emphasis on Art of Book. I am trained in traditional Indo-Islamic, Mughal and Persian Painting techniques.
At the time when ‘Tradition’ is questioned and people are more drawn towards modern and pop vocabulary, it is not easy to practice art which still demands the traditional values that are; Truth, Beauty and Goodness.
I like to work with text-based ideas, which have spiritual connotations with reference to Islamic Texts particularly Sufi Tradition in Islam. The spiritual world has many layers and strong metaphors and allegories to deal with that are parallel to physical or material world. My paintings and art works deal with such subjects that have mystical dimensions. There is a strong colour symbolism and Mathematical use of space. I work with natural pigments and watercolour gouache on hand treated and tea stained ‘Wasli’ paper, which has many layers to soak the pigment. I also use fine handmade squirrel tail hairbrush for special rendering, which is called “Pardakht”. The colour pigment is laid flat or layered with a special technique and then rendered with detail.
I have moved from a traditional frame work to a contemporary one and the technique is still traditional to some extent though there is experiment with different mediums such as; photography and collage, to name a few.
The images of my work that I am submitting for Muslim Women’s Art & Voices are of spiritual nature. They all are making a statement about various elements, characteristics and issues in a woman’s life generally and in a Muslim woman’s life in particular. They have to be read and interpreted accordingly.
To end this I would like to quote Baba Farid, a 13th century Sufi from South Asia:
I thought I was alone in my pain,
But the whole world is suffering,
When I look down from the roof,
I see the same fire in every house”
Shaikh Farid (died 1266)
As recorded in ADI GRANTH Compiled 1604
 Original text is in Punjabi, translated by Richard Harris, Sufism – Mystical Writings of Islam, Axon publishing, 2007, UK.
Fatima Zahra Hassan is a Muslima Ambassador. To see more by Fatima Zahra Hassan view her art work "I Follow the Religion of Love," "Night of Union," "Hide No More," and "Love Charms" in the Art Gallery.