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Art as a reflection of the spirit

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For Zeina Saket, art is a form of nourishment of the spirit. She believes that every artist has a unique ability to express thoughts, emotions, and desires. (Photos: Handouts from Zeina Saket)
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Artist and art curator Zeina Saket graduated in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in visual arts from the University of Jordan. She worked there as an assistant, teaching Islamic art history, contemporary art, and history and theory of art courses. Saket also served as art manager and curator at the Children’s Museum for five years.اضافة اعلان

Fascinated with drawing and painting, she was encouraged by her family to indulge in it as a child.

“Painting and drawing were an essential part of my early childhood. I was very passionate about it,” she said.

“It was obvious to my family, who encouraged me immensely, as did my teachers in my early school years.”

For Saket, art is a form of nourishment of the spirit. She believes that every artist has a unique ability to express thoughts, emotions, and desires.



As for her, since art is part of her identity, she says “I cannot imagine myself without this form of expression. It is my voice, and a reflection of my spirit”.

Saket loves abstract art, which, she says, is the use of form, color, texture, and gestures to render nonrepresentational images, rather than an accurate portrayal of visual reality. She liked this type of art early in her childhood, before being formally introduced to it.

While her bigger passion is painting, using mixed media, Saket also creates videos and installations.

Her work combines multiple layers of mixed media and virtual pictures, making images hidden behind images. She is interested in exploring the metaphysical and mystical as “art is a reflection of the essence of the artist”.

She draws inspiration from the beauty of Islamic art, calligraphy, and contemporary abstract painting. Traces of Islamic art, distinguished by its use of calligraphy, and geometric and abstract floral motifs, is evident in her work.

Calligraphy appeals to abstract artists who are interested in the expressive power of line and pattern. With it comes the opportunity to develop a new visual language that is capable of eliciting and communicating a variety of emotional states.



Artistic growth is a long journey aided by practice. Saket’s approach has changed over time, as has her playfulness and experimentation in art making, which is apparent in the media she chooses.
… every artist has a unique ability to express thoughts, emotions, and desires.
“I use mixed media and enjoy experimenting with layering techniques in a variety of media,” Saket said.

She says her choice of color is unintentional; she leans toward subtle blues and cool tones, rather than bright and bold hues.

“Those colors please my eye and soul as I create, and help me express my story at this moment,” she said.

Besides being an artist, Saket also gives art consultations for curating projects associated with children’s art, and with creating gallery walls in homes and other spaces.

She joined several local group exhibitions where she presented installations and video art pieces. Saket also curated three art exhibitions, including installations and video screenings at the Children’s Museum.

“Illuminated Verses: Contemplations with Hafiz” was Saket’s first solo exhibition, held in 2016 at Dar Al-Anda. One of the pieces exhibited is now part of the collection of the National Gallery of Fine Arts.



She will be showcasing her work in an upcoming women group exhibition this August.

Saket believes social media is a portal for artists, galleries, and individuals to connect and share their experiences.
My art is a reflection of my essence and state, hence it naturally takes the viewer into my personal journeys of self-discovery and mysticism
“Nowadays, I feel that social media plays an important role in exposing artists on a larger scale,” she said.

The pandemic had a relatively positive impact on Saket’s artistic experience: “It gave me some time to myself, solitude. Lockdowns worked well for me and encouraged me to reflect and create art.”

Her goal is to participate in more exhibitions through which to share her experience in creating art.

“My art is a reflection of my essence and state, hence it naturally takes the viewer into my personal journeys of self-discovery and mysticism,” Saket said.



Her advice to young artists is to “imitate children in their freedom of expression and playfulness in creating art. Observe little things around you that attract your eyes, live the moment, and simply be genuine with art making. And constantly create art, do not stop, make it a daily habit”.

The best way to start, she believes, is by learning the basics of academic drawing and being patient. In that advice, the words of Pablo Picasso ring true: “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”


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