Can you believe those are hand made clay flowers?! Madiha Siraj creates intricate work exploring her culture and embracing inevitable imperfections in artwork.We love how she uses Islamic patterns with a fresh color pallet, texture and shine! We hope you enjoy her work as much as we do!
Madiha Siraj is a Muslim American artist from southern California most known for her installation art and polymers clay sculpture pieces. Her installation “Oyster EB-12” was displayed at the Craft Forward Symposium in San Francisco in 2011, and her work was featured in Design Milk and Hi-Fructose Magazine.
Her interest in exploring her own culture led her to using Islamic geometric patterns in her paintings. In Islamic art, artists use geometric shapes like circles, and squares to represent the perfection of the universe and God. By using geometric patterns, artists mimic the perfection of God’s universe but ultimately they are not being able to achieve it because of human error. This concept inspired Siraj to celebrate the inevitable imperfections that appear in her work. After marrying her husband Siraj moved from California to the East Coast and had the opportunity to explore New York City’s rich art history and vibrant contemporary art scene.
Her latest series of works are sculptural. Most of her pieces are created using a polymers clay, a crafting clay widely available at craft stores. Instead of using Islamic geometric patterns as a direct reference like in her paintings, Siraj’s sculptural works are looser, they encompasses her love of bright colors and tactile patterns but they are much more playful and give the audience more room to interpret the work.
Madiha shares more about her work:
In my work I follow the traditional of Islamic artists that used geometric shapes like circles, and squares to represent the perfection of the universe and God. By using geometry, a universal mathematical language they were able to relinquish a certain level of authorship. My work celebrates the Islamic tradition of geometric patterns to translate the universe but in my work the hand of the artist is always present. In many of my works I use craft materials like polymers clay, seed beads and perler beads to create works that celebrate the tradition of Islamic art but also infuse a sense of joyful exploration and whimsy.