You all must know by now that I love art. Today I thought you might want to know about a wonderful and talented Sister, who happens to be a member of the Green Muslims, I featured recently.
Please welcome Nadia Janjua
AM: What would you like us to know about your work?
NJ: I am an artist and architect working in the Washington, D.C. area. I obtained my Masters of Architecture degree from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from the George Washington University. I have been drawing and painting since childhood years, and consider art and aesthetics to be a part of everything I do.
My art and architectural work is an exploration and process of encouraging myself, and the viewer or inhabitant to look closer for the inspiration, to reflect on the relevance to our experiential lives, and to realize the beautiful.
Being an architect makes me feel a bit like the puppeteer, Geppetto. It is as if life gets breathed into a design when construction begins, and the structure takes on a whole new character onto itself; it's nothing less than magic!
AM: You are also a talented photographer; could you please tell us how this journey started?
NJ: I have been capturing scenes and moments with cameras and video cameras since early childhood. Now, while this hasn't made me an expert or a professional, it has helped me develop an eye to see things around me in meaningful ways.
NYC street vendor Manhattan
And to see Allah's mercy and beauty in things small and large around us is truly a gift, and something I strive towards with my existence, my creativity, and my art.
Ontario College of Arts & Design, Toronto
AM: Like you I wanted to know what challenges she faced being a Muslim Artist, and fortunately I got to read her interview with iconia. She said this:
NJ: The challenges of being an artist, Muslim or not, include being understood, appreciated, and staying motivated to sustain the struggle of self-confidence in your ability, and your work. A particular struggle which I’ve definitely had to deal with on being Muslim, and an artist, has been with family, and working with their attitudes towards the place of art in culture and faith, its legitimacy and its value.
"Khan-e-Khalili" Bazaar in Cairo, Egypt
However, through my own growth as an artist over the past 15 years I see a revival spreading like fire in the minds and attitudes of Muslim communities and societies at large. I feel it’s evidenced not only on a local level, but a more national level in the efforts of large organizations making the space for Art Exhibits, doing features on them in Islamic magazines, inviting Artists to speak to students in Islamic schools, at Mosques, at conferences, at Interfaith events, all of which I’ve been fortunate to take part in.
I would like to thank Nadia for sharing her work with us today.
To learn more about Nadia, simply visit her here and here.