The beauty of this series of paintings is that it’s a discovery for me also. I am “Learning to Walk” as I paint these, exploring my understanding of Arabic and my identity. It’s interesting you call it a “third culture”, as I’m exploring my own growing up. I didn’t quite fit in when we went on family holidays to Egypt. There are always reminders to a “second generation child” that you are still different. Language plays a big part in how we see ourselves, and the world. The focus on language and experimentation with “calligraphic” Arabic shapes is something I want to continue to work on. I enjoy creating an emotive response with these paintings, counteracting the colourful letters and forms with non-defined human figures, creating a certain confusion. But somehow a balance too.[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="644"] Learning-to-walk - Ancient Egyptian Parents[/caption] A lot of your art goes beyond your own origins and culture. Delving into the sadness and sorrow experienced by many Middle Eastern countries, how has the reception of these powerful and moving works been? “We are all Human II”, as I say when describing some of my paintings. The response has been a human one, a really positive one. I think we can all appreciate human issues, and the need to speak about them. It’s important to humanize when so much of the world’s narrative about the Middle East dehumanizes. Many people speak about these subjects in different ways. Through all my faults, I feel blessed if I can try to say something through my paintings about things I care about. Art should speak, and people identify with these paintings because they show universal issues and emotions. I sometimes see the most unlikely friends engaging with my art, so I’ve learned to never assume, and appreciate that I never know who is looking. I once had a friend ask me if the Dome of the Rock from my “Crying Dome” series was a UFO. She’s since much more aware of world issues, but it shows that people can also have an emotive response to a painting without always knowing the subject. Paintings can move as works of art. Some art mystifies and obscures through language, but I think art should be something anyone can access. So it has to work visually first. A painting is never separate from a viewer. [caption id="attachment_2775" align="alignnone" width="670"] 'Crying dome series' - Crying dome[/caption] What can we anticipate next in your exciting journey – any sneak peeks? My mind is always imagining my next painting. I started working on some Ancient Egyptian inspired art last year, and might return to that. Everything can be found in art from that history. I have so much in my mind, so many paintings I’ve painted in my imagination. I’m developing “Learning to Walk” paintings, with more Arabic forms, characters, and even geometry. I’m also imagining continuing the journey of “Crying Dome” once the moment finds me. All of my art starts as an emotive response, and that’s why you find me painting so many themes and subjects. Wherever my heart takes me.