Zaina Alhizami is an international artist who has trained across Europe and developed a unique style that combines the traditional techniques picked up from artisans with her own eccentric ones. Typically her work is characterised with bright colours and highly textured with 3D elements. Her signature motifs which thread across all her work can often be seen through the various symbolic shapes such as; eyes, butterflies, masks and barriers.
“I like to be left alone, to be invisible. In order to crawl into my imagination, and comfortably go into my head. The barriers in my work are symbols for needing that escape, to lock everyone out. Ive always been desperate to feel the depth in everything I was experiencing, emotionally - and only isolation takes me there”
Ejecting herself from the high-flying world of an advertising executive in New York in 2015, Zaina realised the passion and impulsion she felt when doodling on note pads. Realising this was the direction she needed to take her life in, so she immersed herself into a creative life in Tuscany, Italy, for several years. A chance meeting with a sculptor led Zaina to a community of artisans that would change the course of her life forever as she began training under their tutelage in the ancient methods of priming, gilding, painting and mosaics.
Finding fascination and beauty in the alchemy of creating most of her base materials from scratch, Zaina uses her own secret blends and natural products to prep and paint with. Artistic endeavour has propelled her to explore this painstaking process to be able to manifest the multi-faceted pieces she makes today, taking elements from each place she settles in that find themselves in the work.
Zaina is a Saudi Arabian, Palestinian, Lebanese, Kuwaiti woman. She spent half her youth in the West and developed a sense of freedom while still remaining strongly connected to her Arab roots. The theme of reconciling Arab tradition with Western liberalism is one that is continuously explored in her work alongside femininity, expression, emotion and the complexity of the human experience.
“My art is entertaining for the most part. The colours and expressions I put into these pieces light people up, and I want to keep doing that. Lighting people up. The other part is for me, its a study into my internal self- we are complex beings and making art helps us get a step closer into understanding who we are. ”- Zaina Al Hizami
Currently Zaina is based in London and works from her West London studio.