World Inkers Network offers this exclusive interview with visual artist Sarah Hussein. Sarah Hussein is an Egyptian painter and sculptor. Sarah was awarded the Arab Prize in fine arts in 2018, the sponsorship award in the xiv INTERNATIONAL EX LIBRIS COMPETITION in Ruse in 2018, and the International Art and Design competition award in Italy in 2019 and 2022, one of the shortlisted in Alpine fellowship visual art in 2022, and the bronze medal in one of design contest 2022. Sarah has participated in many local exhibitions, such the Youth Salon for Art, as well as international exhibitions including the Art Revolution Taipei Fair in Taiwan in 2019 and the Venice Land Art Prize contemporary art fair in Italy in 2019. And other art fairs in USA, UK and India. Her art is collected by art collectors from UK, US, Australia, Canada and Egypt.
Dustin Pickering: How do you usually plan a painting? Or do they spontaneously develop through a rigorous process?
Sarah Hussein: Actually, sometimes I had a specific idea about any concept and try to express it on canvas. It happens through walking or traveling or meeting someone. At this time I feel something inspires me.
Dustin Pickering: Does illness play a role in your inspiration whether mental or physical?
Sarah Hussein: When I experience any mental or physical pain I try my best to turn it out into painting. It is no secret to say that when my dad passed away, I found myself trying to escape away from this gloomy mood. I tried to fight that creepy feeling of losing my dad with all my might. I think drawing some sketches help me a lot.
Dustin Pickering: Do you think your paintings have an explicit meaning you invoke, or do viewers decide on potential meaning?
Sarah Hussein: In fact, I love to leave that explanation to the viewers. I believe that every person has an eye which helps him contemplating the art pieces and decides that what idea that reflects.
Dustin Pickering: What can visual art offer a sick and confused society? How can it resist political and psychological tyranny?
Sarah Hussein: One of the best jobs which the art can do is making the public feel more peaceful and mindful and to be more poetic. I truly believe in art’s power. It has the same magic like books. We have to rely on enjoying the different kinds of arts to make new paths towards the light.
I think these societies which read poetry and enjoy arts have the full ability to destroy that political tyranny because the ignorance and the limited thinking are the direct causes which lead to such a thing.
Dustin Pickering: Do any of your paintings have humor you seek to express?
Sarah Hussein: Yes, sometimes I love to express humor through my paintings.
Dustin Pickering: There is a cliché that artists hold a mirror to society. How do you view that and make use of it yourself?
Sarah Hussein: Firstly, I don’t agree with that cliché because I love to express my own imaginations, feelings, dreams, ideas and emotions.
I think I am not get along with my society so I am suffering always.
Dustin Pickering: How does an artist’s character present itself in the work? How do you see yourself in your own work?
Sarah Hussein: The main element in most of my paintings is the woman which by chance and without planning have my own face features.
Dustin Pickering: Your paintings often have a surrealistic realism to them. How did you develop that trait? When did you see that style emerging?
Sarah Hussein: I used this style recently. I started then creating some imaginative paintings.
I developed my style through reading books about that field and studying some artworks of old masters of this field.
Dustin Pickering: What is the painting process like for you? Do you paint even when you are not in the mood or not inspired to do so?
Sarah Hussein: For me painting process is fun and I considered it a therapy also. Sometimes I paint in an inspired mood or not.
Dustin Pickering: How can non-political art stir a society?
Sarah Hussein: This happens when the artwork is honest and talks to the audience’s heart.
Dustin Pickering: How would you describe your orientation to the world? How would that differ from your orientation to the artistic world?
Sarah Hussein: Actually, I see being oriental or western it doesn’t matter at all, what matter for me is being an inspired person. i tried to express the oriental beauties in my art through focus on the oriental people and some beautiful and artistic landscapes in my country. I totally believe that beauty exists everywhere.