Meem mashreq meem maghrib

“Meem mashreq meem maghrib”
The irony of this phrase becomes more significant for me as I witness our world crumble. Faith in belief systems, faith in fact in anything at all, is systematically being dismantled and rejected. We are believers, sadly, in nothing, except perhaps our personal entitlement. It was against this backdrop that I began to work on the current series of paintings and prints.

Taking the letter ‘meem’ as a focal point I constructed vertiginous spirals and forbidding rectangles with steel spikes on heavily crusted surfaces referencing the moon. The split pomegranate which in my earlier work represents the fruit of Original Sin continues to be a recurring theme. The inclusion of stainless steel on a painted surface, alongside graphite and gold paint, creates a rich texture which refers to both past happiness and current hopelessness.

The use of text in both Urdu and Pashto scripts are a nod to my upbringing in both the North West Frontier Province of my childhood and the Punjab. The nature of separateness which has always underpinned my youth and adulthood finds expression in this body of work.

Laila Rahman
November 2018