The first certified mosaic artist in Bahrain, Faiza Saeed grew up with a passion for art, dabbling in paintings and collage making. It was love at first sight with mosaics while visiting museums in Britain, Italy and Spain. Having found her inspiration in mosaic art from the renowned artist from the UK, Emma Biggs, Faiza is looking forward to spread the beauty and colour of this art form in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Faiza took out some time from her busy schedule, jam packed with new art projects and workshops, and shared with Bahrain This Week, the therapeutic effect imparted by the colorful world of mosaics.
When did you realise you wanted to be an artist?
I can’t remember exactly when my love towards art began. As far as I can remember, it has been a part of me and has been there all through this life. Having been born and raised in a family of fine artists, I think it sort of grew by itself in me since childhood. But I can say that my start as an artist began when I started experimenting with 3D mosaic pieces and mixed media by introducing myself to the history of mosaics around the world.
How was the experience with Emma Biggs?
I was really inspired by a book written by Emma Biggs, which I happened to read when I was at the Tate Contemporary Museum in London. The book actually taught me how to work on mosaics and how to use them the right way. It was a big challenge for me to go step by step following the directions mentioned in the book. I then decided to attend a workshop in London which, by coincidence, turned out to be conducted by none other than Emma Biggs herself! I learned a lot from her, especially how to grow as an individual artist, how to start in particular, about workshops, lectures, outdoor projects and then writing books to teach others and create complete awareness. I also loved the way she used shape and simple colors in her pieces to create geometric designs that deliver a message to the world out there.
Do you see mosaics becoming popular in Bahrain?
Absolutely! In Bahrain we have numerous options for indoor decorations, but not so much for outdoors because of the blazing sun and humidity. Mosaics are the perfect option for Bahrain as they are very durable and can withstand the heat. In places like Rivenna or Barcelona, you can find mosaics on buildings, houses, and street signs. You can also find mosaics on pavements because pedestrian traffic does not damage them. We together should make the effort and try to beautify our outdoor spaces and public areas. We could always decorate building facades, flyovers, or pedestrian bridges. I would love to collaborate with organisations to add some colour to our outdoor areas!
You give classes for those interested in this art… how did that happen and how is it going?
After experiencing it myself, I wanted others to feel the therapeutic beauty of working with mosaic. My workshops introduce mosaic as a simple art of expression, an effective method of meditation that can be learned at any stage. So far I’ve had a wonderful range of people from all nationalities, professions, and ages, looking to learn and master the art of mosaic. The most interesting feedback I’ve received so far was from the middle-aged participants, admitting that working on a mosaic piece gave them the opportunity to start with themselves in peace and quiet. Young men with interior design backgrounds participate in my workshops to learn how to involve mosaic in their work. I conduct workshops on a monthly basis for both beginners and intermediates.
So far from your collections, which is your favourite piece of art?
I am currently working on a 2D piece about Ghazza, this is one of my favorites. Other pieces that I love are the Red Flower, which owns a special place in my heart being my first piece along with the Female Shark piece and Blue Mosque of Istanbul.
Can you explain to us about your dream project?
I would love to make mosaic something common in my country, Bahrain. I would also love to start my own mosaic art center to create a new and bright generation of artists.
What advice would you give to an aspiring artist in the region?
In order to promote their work, I would like to advise the aspiring ones to participate and showcase their artworks in communities, exhibitions and workshops. As an artist, always remember to be part of a community and not work solo. It will help you to strengthen yourself and find inspiration that would make your work standout from the rest of the crowd.