5- Mecca,, The City that never sleeps

I was born in Mecca which I love. Mecca; this city where I was brought up and nurtured, where I played, laughed and smiled. My love for Mecca has overwhelmed me with longing. Those in love with Mecca would not be blamed. I am always speechless when I see the Ka’ba, that grand, black, stone, cube-shaped building which is so big and still so accessible, which stands at the centre of the city, tucked safely between all the tall buildings surrounding the holy mosque: ‘Al-haram’. The Ka’ba is the focus for the followers of Islam, a quarter of the world’s population, and they turn to face it in prayer five times a day all around the world. 

The golden calligraphy written on black is totally striking and it inspired me to paint it in a creative and contemporary way. Seeing Muslims of all colours and ages walking around it in such harmony is just an unforgettable sight. Seeing them performing a shared rite in the spirit of unity and brotherhood is the true picture of being together, helping each other, and knowing that all are equal, no matter where you are from.

What a heartbreaking sight, to see all these thousands of Muslims in their humility, lost in their worship. Mecca is a cosmopolitan city for all Muslims. After you have been there once, you cannot resist the urge to keep on going back; the craving to go back is so intense because a part of you is left there and you have no choice but to go back.

My Painting:

Unit 1 Show:

The Ka’ba fascinates me; it the influence of my work, every touch in my work has a reference to it, every single thing is there for a reason. I am inspired by the Ka’ba to create a new and unique form of art. My ideas are highlighted in the following points:

The 23 Synectic triggers mechanisms: I have been inspired by the Ka’ba and I have tried to discover some creative forms in a contemporary context to create art. I use them as tools through a process of imaginative and creative thinking such as subtract, repeat, combine, add, transfer, empathize, animate, superimpose, change scale, fragment, distort, symbolize.

-The aKinetic energy: The endless circumambulation of people around the Ka’ba influenced me to represent it in a kinetic artwork using a motor to revolve the workaround itself constantly. 

I designed it using illustrator, It is apart of the Kiswa: the silk fabric covering the Ka’ba. Then by laser cutting, I designed the cube and I geld it with gold leaf.

Inside out: I reversed the reality: the outside of the Ka’ba becomes the inside of my artwork so the audience can walk in not around, being inside not outside. I attempt to represent the complexities of human perspectives to reverse the space and to ask a question of where we are standing in relation to the artwork and to religion.

-Gilding with blackness: The black in my work is the absence of colour: there is no God but Allah; it is associated with power, strength, authority, elegance, formality and it is also mystery and fear. The gold is the warmth, brightness and cheerfulness, or it is sombre and traditional and is also associated with illumination, love, compassion, courage, passion, magic and wisdom. Gold is a precious metal which is associated with wealth, grandeur and prosperity, as well as sparkle, glitz and glamour.

Light and shadow: There is a light inside the gold cube hanging from the ceiling to throw its shadows onto the floor as a sample of the light coming from our souls to illuminate our path. I chose a corner of darkness to highlight the centre to attract viewers to walk through the work and to read it from different perspectives. 

Arabic calligraphy: The whole design is taken from the Ka’ba and had some religious meaning before it was addressed by the synectic trigger mechanisms. It becomes without meaning but it still has its aesthetics such as motion, flexibility, power and direction. 

Square and circle: I have tried to circle the square by rotating the cube from the ceiling in order to find the link between them in a kinetic form.

Painting the walls: I painted the wall with freehand paintings and drawings to represent its aesthetics; the gold leaf and the gold paint coming from the real gold in the Ka’ba, its cube building made of stones and covered with the Kisawa: hand-made clothes from natural silk and gold thread. The door is also made of real gold. 


Through that limited time, I just finished the work exactly before the show, I had some technical difficulties to hang the box with its rotation motor. It fell down twice: the first time, there was still time to fix it with gold leaf. Unfortunately, the second time there was no time. The show was beginning, the action itself was answering my question: to where my art is going? For me, it was not only an accident, But It was also a chance to understand my exact position, I returned back to my beginning point. It leads to asking my self: Where am I to my art? Do I will still spend time on solving technical problems? I prefer om my next projects spending time and effort on creating ideas on its simplest show. MA Fine Art is not only for practice, but it is also focusing on the creative process and journey. Even if I like complexity, after “UNIT1 SHOW” I decided to make it simple but deep, light but strong, easy but significant, clear and wide. I am really excited to start UNIT2 in a new HUDA’s look.

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