Faiza was exposed to the beauty and power of art and design at a very young age, but it wasn't until she stumbled upon a book of amazing mosaic art that she found her new passion and discipline. Faiza chats to Bahrain Arts Magazine about her artistic journey, and how she became the first Bahraini certified mosaic artist in the Kingdom.
Raised among two brothers, one of them a famous local artist in fine arts and the second a handyman and boatbuilder, Faiza got exposed to the beauty and power of art and design at a very young age. “I remember my artist brother always had his art books scattered everywhere as he painted daily. I couldn’t help but look through his Dali and Leonardo da Vinci books and be mesmerized by the beauty of colours and vivid, surreal imagery. It left a big impression on me as a child,” she says.
Faiza’s exposure to the arts continued in the form of regularly visiting international galleries and museums around the world, and purchasing and devouring art books, especially while she was in London, where her daughter was studying at the time. But to Faiza, fine arts remained a form she never really clicked with, or was drawn towards; “I was at a stage where I knew I had the creative energy to produce my own art, but found the fine arts to be inconvenient and judgemental in its approach.”
It was around 2005, on her many museum trips in London, that she stumbled upon a book by Emma Biggs, one of the best mosaic artists of our time. From Biggs’ book alone, Faiza started doing her own mosaic projects, producing over 50 tables, without even attending a workshop. Noticing her new-found passion and discipline, her daughter persuaded her to attend a workshop in London by Emma Biggs herself. Faiza attended, learning new skills and tools that would allow her to cut the time she spent on each art piece in half, and translate her vision to a reality more effectively.
From there, she continued her training at the Mosaic Art School in Ravenna, Italy as well as getting certified at the Orsoni Mosaic Art Centre in Venice, becoming the first Bahraini certified mosaic artist. She now continually hosts workshops and produces art from her studio in Bahrain. “One of my main goals when producing mosaic art and hosting workshops is to create awareness about the significance of this art form in Bahrain and the region. While there is a major appreciation for fine arts in our region, there is much less attention on mosaic art and this needs to change.” She attributes her love for teaching and training to her former career as the head of Human Resources at a leading regional bank; “I love teaching and sharing my knowledge. Getting involved in the self-development of humans is a rewarding and fulfilling experience.”
Faiza says that often people come to her workshops swearing that they have zero art skills, are not 'real' artists, and that she should not expect anything great from them: “One headmistress comes to mind when I say this, because right after she said it, she created some of the best mosaic work I had ever seen!”
And this is what she wants to instil in people who love mosaic art but have not yet dabbled in it. “People who do not practice art regularly tend to believe that art is a skill you're born with, or something that needs to be picked up at a very young age; that it requires traits that you either have or don't, like long fingers to play the piano. Perhaps it is true that if you want to develop an eye for art you may need to start at a young age. But for me, mosaic art debunks all these myths about being 'good' at art. It allows you to start at any age and anyone can do it; that's the beauty.”
Faiza has just completed a beautiful and simple mosaic entryway for a new branch of the trendy café Angelina Paris in the heart of Bahrain’s arts district, Adliya, and her latest work of art is a mosaic table (see image below), shaped and decorated in the form of a jalabiya - a traditional Egyptian garment native to the Nile Valley - with its distinct patterns, each of different shapes, cuts, colours and arrangements, all flowing seemlessly together. Her next goal is to collaborate on a large-scale project to create an outdoor mosaic art installation of the caliber of the Gaudi gardens in Barcelona, Spain. “Unlike other fine arts, mosaic art is a 3D art. It uses sustainable material and can elevate its surrounding environment.” More importantly, she emphasizes that unlike other art, mosaic art can handle the harshest weather conditions. “On my trip to Pompei, Italy, I learned about how their outdoor mosaic art installations survived major natural disasters like earthquakes and plenty of rain, yet still maintained their beauty to this day. If it can sustain such harsh weather conditions, I’m sure it can handle the heat in Bahrain.”
What does mosaic art means to Faiza? “How can you ask a fish what the water means to it when it's all it breathes and sees every day?”
To enlarge, click on the Full Screen button above
Tel: +973 3993 7669