Rashed Al Araifi is a practicing architect and artist, currently based between London and Bahrain. He has a sketchbook full of doodles and constantly creates thought provoking work.
We got to know a little more about his work below.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I am simply an artistic nomad who shares his opinions visually. I believe in the power of narrative, and I try to use my art as a catalyst to add value to contemporary issues.I try to be a sponge, soaking in and expressing through visual means, be it through painting, sketching, or architecture. My problem solving skills, eye for connotation, and ability to translate opinions through visuals are my greatest assets, and I try to produce a wide range of imaginative concepts for my audience.
Consumer – // وَتَأْكُلُونَ التُّرَاثَ أَكْلا لَّمًّا: (١٩) وَتُحِبُّونَ الْمَالَ حُبًّا جَمًّا // And you devour inheritance with greed (19) And you love wealth with inordinate love (20) (Al-Fajer : 19-20)
What inspires you to create your work?
Most of my works are conceptual, aiming to challenge the modern day perception of social, cultural, and anthropological issues. My aim is to challenge the viewer by any means necessary. My main focus is always trying to bridge functionality and narrative, and building upon that foundation whilst maintaining an innovative artistic expression.
Tell us a little about this project we are featuring, Visual Dawaa?
The pieces from the Visual Da’awa series are basically a translation of particular verses in the Quran, I try to give a sense of dynamism to the verse because it has so much depth and so many layers, and it could be read in so many different ways. At some point I would like to make a children’s book so I’d educate people with simple visuals like these and show them just how rich the religion of Islam is. You’re exposed to so many different levels of audiences but in a way I try to make a universal artistic translation.
Expansion: - // أَلَمْ نَشْرَحْ لَكَ صَدْرَكَ // Have we not expanded your breast for you (Al Sharh : 1)
What are the reoccurring themes in your work and is there a reason for this?
My interest in solving socio-political, cultural, and in some cases, random issues through art and design are the themes often discussed in my work, from humanitarian issues, to emotional subjects of the human heart. Themes of Love, time, and death can be evident in most of my work. I believe in the Holiness of the arts, and I try to deliver work in its purest form, with visual responses that reveal my opinions, perceptions, and experiences of the world I navigate through.
Most of my works are conceptual, aiming to challenge the modern day perception of social, cultural, and anthropological issues. My aim is to challenge the viewer. My main focus was always trying to bridge functionality and narrative, and building upon that foundation whilst maintaining an innovative artistic expression.
Humble: – // لَوْ أَنزَلْنَا هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ عَلَىٰ جَبَلٍ لَّرَأَيْتَهُ خَاشِعًا مُّتَصَدِّعًا مِّنْ خَشْيَةِ اللَّهِ ۚ وَتِلْكَ الْأَمْثَالُ نَضْرِبُهَا لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ // ‹Had we sent this Quran upon a mountain, you would surely have seen it humbled and coming apart from the fear of Allah. Such are the examples which we put forward to people so they may reflect› ( Al-Hashr : 21)
Connect us with a few of your favourite artists at the moment.
George condo, Takashi Murakami, and Salvador Dali to name of a few. However, I tend to listen and read more than observing visual works. I try to be influenced from individuals outside my field.
Path: – // اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ (6) صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّالِّين. //
Guide us to the straight path (6) The path of those upon whom ‹You› have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked ‹Your› anger or of those who are astray (7)( Al-Fatiha : 6-7)
Be a nomad and document your journey, never stop navigating.
Sightless – // لا تَعْمَى الْأَبْصَارُ وَلَـٰكِن تَعْمَى الْقُلُوبُ الَّتِي فِي الصُّدُورِ: //
‹It is not the eyes that are blind, but it is the hearts in the bosoms, that are blind› (Al-Haj : 46)
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