Woman This Month spoke to Areej Rajab, a talented Bahraini artist and mum of three, who expresses her talent abstractly by creating movement with an array of hues.
Areej is one of those ladies that draws your attention with her natural beauty. Her big, expressive eyes make you want to know more about her life and achievements. What intrigues you more is how this beautiful woman creates equally beautiful pieces.
It all started a long time ago, when she was only three years old and discovered the world of painting. Her aunt Sameeha Rajab, an old-school Bahraini artist, was an inspiration and a supporter as she went about fitting art into her life.
Her passion for the subject was a hobby until she decided to transform it into her career. Being a mum who decides to study can be a challenge. However, she managed to complete her education at the London Art College. “My kids are 12, nine and six and they are always around in the studio; they love having a mum that is a painter,” says proud Areej. “Kids are natural with art so it is important to stimulate them from a young age.”
Areej’s art takes the form of abstract expressionism and she never names her paintings, simply numbering them. She explains: “I believe that each of us sees something different when looking at my creations, so I don’t like to limit the imagination. My art can be exactly what each pair of eyes sees, so everyone can have their own interpretation.”
And highlighting the personal nature of her work, she adds: “My art is like my diary, I paint what I feel.”
The materials she uses are canvas and paper. Undeniably, her trademark is how she expresses herself with colours. Acrylic paint is her world and colours play the main role in her creations. The explosion of shades takes you to a different universe that automatically touches you. Areej communicates with colours and you want to be part of this world.
In addition to her exhibitions and the creation a new collection, she gives workshops and art classes. “My students come from different areas and I believe that it is never too late to learn. Sometimes you can learn the basic concepts and then create beautiful art work; you don’t have to be born a talent,” she says.
“My advice to those that are starting is to take a step at a time. You can’t start out abstracting; you have to understand what you are doing first. Abstracting is taking out the details, so how can you do it if you don’t understand the whole?”
Like many of us, she loves Bahrain; however, she admits the art scene here is still not ideal. “It would be nice
if we artists could have a place to meet regularly to exchange experience and showcase our art.
“The lack of opportunities sometimes makes some artists lose their identity to please the market.” This is a course she warns against. “If you go with doing what the market wants, you will lose your own creativity,” she says.
Areej has exhibited her work in many places in Bahrain, such as the Gulf Hotel and the Ministry of Culture building. She has also had her work displayed in the UK, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Her main clients are individual collectors, restaurants, hotels and bars. “With the expansion of social media channels, the visibility of my work has increased and it’s been easier to develop my network with art enthusiasts from around the globe,” she says.
Areej is preparing a new exhibition that again follows her main inspiration: the colours. The new collection also features feminine curves and fabrics. Stay tuned!
You can find her page on Instagram: @areejrajab.