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Mona Al-Beiti Visual Artist


Artist statement The most important principal when I approach any endeavor is that of honesty and true creative thinking. These are the two principals that I find essential in my capacity as an artist. Honesty as an artist and designer encompasses real empathy and understanding in the work I execute, be it in terms of a personal emotional attachment or simply, a committed sense of enthusiasm towards it. The important thing is to tackle everything while remaining open to all innovative possibilities in an uncontrived way. Creative thinking embodies a manner of working that commands analysis of the thing at hand as well as the world at large. It requires a reflection, experimentation and a measure of ambitious feeling ensuring that the most creative possibilities are always explored. In keeping with the character of being honest, I find the mundane goings on of everyday the most stimulating, for they are perhaps the closest to reality in its true form. This stretches right up to and beyond the stories that make people who they are, the observation of passers by and my own speculation towards what may be a factor in their lives. Narratives are possibly the most common theme across all my work. I have found that one of the most universal and engaging things about a story is the level of intrigue it produces and the power of its message. As a result, my source of inspiration certainly derives from a wide range of expert storytellers. At times it may be British director Joe Wright who’s stunningly beautiful cinematography captures the imagination and transports you. Other times I find that it is Oliver Jeffers, a picture book artist who’s honest simple drawing and clever use of space combine word and drawing so seamlessly for a visual and literary experience that that is so simple and yet so powerful. Sometimes it might stem from Michael Borremans, who’s beautifully composed paintings and the forlorn feel of its subjects and the oddities in spatial grammar keep you always engaged. The facets of inspiration are many and no composition could do them all justice, suffice to say that each brings their own magic to the table. In all these works of inspiration, the artist, although each very different from the other in style and medium, all approach what they do best with honesty. And so, this prevents their work from being contrived but rather, leaves it feeling original and creative in they’re clever execution. It truly spurs me on and gives me a marvelous sense of excitement to see such a level of accomplishment. I hope to create work in a clever way that will resonate with people whatever it may be, be it in terms of a social impact or otherwise. Hopefully it is not too much of a stretch to wish for, but it would mean even more if one of my works were to set a flurry of delight and excitement in an observers mind.


Ideas are generated by inquiry. This process of questioning and placement of the subject at hand into a wider context fuels the beginning of a creative process. It is to me the most organic and stimulating part of any project wherein its scope is widened with a thrilling anticipation of unknown possibilities.


The exploration and thorough understanding of the work is essential here. It is through investigation that a foundation is laid whereby creative thinking can be carried out in an uncontrived way. This is the most pivotal ideal I strive for thought my body of work as it maintains a sense of truthfulness and authenticity.


Experimentation and analysis bring up the final components in the development process leading up to the creation of any of my work. It is only through this that I believe that creative solutions can be found


A practice of Inquiry, Exploration and experimentation was followed in order to create a set of cards intending to convey the spirit of the 1920s.

Inquiry into the revolution of morals and manners and the exploration of the Gatsby-esc prosperity which set the tone of the era, allowed for symbols and visual codes to be created communicating just how aptly named “the Roaring 20s� were.


Twentieth Centaury Cards Vector based illustration with a Chine Colle aluminum back. 6.3x8.89cm 2012


kodachrome Memories Three layered Screen Print 21.0 x 29.7cm 2012


At the root of this emphasis on inquiry, exploration and experimentation is the wish to truly understand whatever topic I tackle in order to produce legitimate work. I find that this starts in building on what I know. Drawing from my personal memories and experiences is the basis from which to source honest material.


Often the subject matter of my work stems directly from what I have experienced. This can vary as widely from the most commonplace objects, such as a mix tape, to the most defining factors of who I am such as my family.

Wired For sound Vector based illustration 25x20cm 2011


Having a close understanding of what you are trying to communicate is the most basic way of knowing how to translate it into physical form. For instance, the subject of this series of expressional drawings was to convey shades of emotion that come with anxiety. It was to be a collection of three expressive drawings of hands wherein the poses chosen would be a personal habit that occurs when I am nervous. The habit involves real a tendency to scratch my arm as emotions of stress build. These include one of wiry anxiety, another of a more dull stress and finally a placid tenseness.

Untitled Mixed Media drawing 42.0 x 59.4cm 2012


Habits such a nervous tick and other actions that make up everyday serve as a great source of inspiration to me. The reason for this is perhaps that I find ordinary occurrences to be one of the most honest ways to examine reality at its purist. And so the common place, everyday, routine and even mundane are featured heavily in my work and even celebrated.


Tea For One Flip Book 15.24x10.16 2011


A Week In Writing Plexi glass, Transparency, Thread, Pen, Inkjet printing, masking tape 20.32x 10.16 2011

Honest realities of the simple goings on in the life of a person have been examined through this book structure. All written interactions taken over a single week; every email, receipt and instant message conversation were placed into clear pages imitating the manner in which events and actions come overlap and flow from one to another creating a period of time.


The capturing of human moments within everyday life is to me one of the one most fascinating subjects to deal with. They hold truthfulness that is universally relatable. In addition to this they also present a degree of intrigue. The idea that everyone is leading a particular life with its own characteristics, experiences and memories presents endless opportunities of exploration and interest.


The Maraya Project Digital Video 2012


In addition to this these moments also present a degree of intrigue. The idea that everyone is leading a particular life with its own characteristics, experiences and memories presents endless opportunities of exploration and inter-

est.


This book hopes to present an honest communication of experiences of many people passing through Dubai Airport’s terminal Three. Found objects from the airport that are unique to the process of traveling through this terminal (such as tickets and luggage tags) were combined with my personal documentation of the commuters in the form of sketches. Its objective was that the combinations of physical objects that were real parts of peoples passing through the terminal and my own personal representation of them would result in a tactile illustration of the airport and the many unique journeys that are taken through it everyday.

Terminal Three found object , screen print, plexi glass 2012


The power of a story lies in that it is the most universal modes of communicating. We live through stories and identify ourselves within them. It is one of the most natural and engaging subject matters. Its work that contains of some kind of narrative that has always been a constant source of inspiration for me. This spans over all mediums, whether it be literary, film, musical or painting. The common thread is that the stories they are trying to communicate have been done in a clever and authentic way. I find that the close examination of works with some form of a narrative has been one of the most effective ways to hone my own skills as an artist and learn how to communicate my own stories in the same genuine and well-crafted way.The examination and analysis of existing stories and manner in which they have been told is a wonderfully rich and expansive. The initial aim of this work was to reinterpret a scene from the fable Sleeping Beauty In The Wood, however while looking into already existing interpretations of this story an increasing interest into how the scenes of the story were expressed through the performance of the ballet developed.The dramatic gestures of the dancers and opulent nature of the theater lead to a curiosity of how a form of performance art could be translated back into a print. Thus taking an interpretation of the original tale of Sleeping Beauty In The Wood, which was translated into a performance art, and reverting it back to an illustrated form. The scene chosen is from Tchaikovsky’s ballet version of sleeping beauty. It shows the prince entering the court with the aid of the velvet fairy as the overgrown forgotten palace allows for great interpretation and the stance of the dancers is particularly expressive. An attempt to interpret and illustrate the climatic nature of this point in the tale has been made using etching, thus making use of the textural line-work that etchings are capable of creating

Scène et final – Le réveil d’Aurore Etching Plate 45.72x 58.42cm 2011


The mode in which stories are told transcend mediums and exploring the relationship between mediums and the possibilities that exist between them has been of particular interest. This piece of work has been created in an attempt to explore and touch upon Michael Borremans dealings of the nature of being human and what he has referred to as “ideological failure� of his work. I have chosen to interpret his work through a video as Borremans himself moves between the mediums of paint and film seamlessly demonstrating that the two mediums have such similarities that one can inform the other. Therefore by using reference to his work and translating them into another medium I hope to rework or create a dialogue with the themes he has already explored. I have drawn direct reference from the imagery of Borremans 2004 piece A2 and his work in portraiture.I found it most intriguing to work with these images as Borremans dealings with human subjects in his work is a key conceptual element that informs almost all of his work. He transforms his subjects into props by stripping them of all individuality and making them essentially vague and anomalous props rather than human beings. In this way he deals with a different kind of truth about his subjects through their detachment, one that accepts them as simply props that exist in a painting but through that raise questions about real human existence. These works touch upon a different kind of storytelling that strays from the traditional structures of narrative but allows the profound intrigue created by its subjects leaving the viewer wanting to know more of what their story is and leads them on a journey of speculation and self examination. He achieves this by attempting to remove any characteristics that could be defining, such as era specific clothing making his models as universal as possible. The model in my work therefore has been dressed in non-specific white shirt with no defining aspects of her other than the manner in which she has tied her hair, which was taken as a direct reference from Borremans A2. The rhythm and music choice of the video was also paid attention to, as it had to reflect the mood of Borremans work. A steady rhythm was created that would be almost like a metronome or the pace of someone breathing that would create an almost eerie calm similar to that which Borremans work lends itself to. In order to deal with the spatial obscurity in Borremans paintings, I have tried to reproduce a similar effect by experimenting with similar images existing within two states (immersed in water and dry). The beginning of the video has been framed so that the context of the model is obscure. Shots of her immersed in water and out are varied but with a hope to keep her context still obscure. This has been achieved with a certain amount of success but I hope that coupled with his ambiguous expression, the video will still be able to raise questions and set a captivating but also almost unnerving image, in the same way Borremans work does.


Micheal Borremans: Video interpratation Digital video 2011


1920s icon illustrations: Zelda Fitzgerald Screen Print 29.7 x 42.0cm 2012


The examination of the manner in which artists have interpret their subject matter resulted in my taking great care when attempting to translate the subjects I am presenting into physical form. This is applicable to whatever project I am taking whether it be a book structure involving the travellers of terminal three or even the line work and representation of a simple illustration.


The culmination of research, design thinking, drawing from real life and utilizing the influence of other artists in my own work is the route I have tried to take in order to produce legitimate and engaging work. This piece clearly demonstrates all the different aspects of my design proses. It draws from my personal fascination with the airport and the many people that go through them everyday by trying recreate the experience of ‘people-watching’ at Dubai International Airport. It is a place where people from all walks of life? can be witnessed within the same flow or buzz, making it one of the most fascinating places to people-watch. These travelers, while all interestingly unique as you watch them, merge into a similar haze of faces that form a very specific crowd that is, the airport crowd. I have attempted to present this flow of ushered crowds and that specific type of energy while zoning in on specific individuals and moments in the bustle. In a way, it could be seen as an act of marrying the experience of just generally watching the mass overall bustle of the airport and its travelers, combined with focusing in on a specific moment and person during a brief moment. It would be one of many that are essentially the same, yet each is in fact, quintessentially different, making it a replica of exactly the experience of people watching at the airport of which I am so fond. In order to accomplish this, I wanted recreate this combination of a dynamic yet honed-in moment that may catch a person’s attention unwittingly, or seemingly so at least. Therefore, I chose to combine a video with screen-print. By projecting the video of the moving people at the airport, I can recreate the ebbs and flows from a flurry of activity. Yet at the same time, there would be a still image of a few figures from this crowd that have been screen-printed onto the surface of the wall from which the video is being projected. This gives the effect and experience of imagery from a constantly moving crowd that can be viewed at the same time as being able to see the specific individuals there who are going on their journeys. Finally, the connection between the crowd and the individual is met when the video and the imagery that has been screen-printed meet for a few moments and line up recreating the experience of people watching at the airport where the rush and moments can be experienced simultaneously.


Terminal Three: Mixed Media Installation Screen print, Digital Video 200x100m 2012


The exploration and thorough understanding of the work is essential here. It is through investigation that a foundation is laid whereby creative

thinking can be carried out in an uncontrived way. This is the most pivotal ideal I strive for thought my body of work as it maintains a sense of truthfulness and authenticity. Experimentation and analysis bring up the final components in the development process leading up to the creation of any of my work. It is only through this that I believe that creative solutions can be found. A practice of Inquiry, Exploration and convey the spirit of the 1920s.

experimentation was followed in order to create a set of cards intending to

Abstract

Inquiry into the revolution of morals and manners and the exploration of the Gatsby-esc prosperity which set the tone of the era, allowed for symbols and visual codes to be created communicating just how aptly named “the Roaring 20s” were.

The most important principle when I approach any endeavor is that of honesty and true

At the root of this emphasis on

creative thinking. These are the two principle that I find essential in my capacity as an artist. Honesty as an artist and designer encompasses real empathy and understanding in the work I execute, be it in terms of a personal emotional attachment or simply, a committed sense of enthusiasm towards it. The important thing is to tackle everything while remaining open to all innovative possibilities in an uncontrived way. Creative thinking embodies a manner of working that commands analysis of the thing at hand as well as the world at large. It re-

reflection, experimentation and a measure of ambitious feeling ensuring that the most creative possibilities are always explored.

inquiry, exploration and experimentation is the wish to truly understand whatever topic I tackle in order to produce legitimate work. I find that this starts in building on what I know. Drawing from my personal memories and experiences is the basis from which to source honest material. Often the subject matter of my work stems directly from what I have experienced. This can vary as widely from the most com-

monplace objects, such as a mix tape, to the most defining factors of who I am such as my family. Having a close understanding of what you are trying to communicate is the most basic way of knowing how to translate it

quires a

into physical form.

In keeping with the character of being honest, I find the mundane

For instance, the subject of this series of expressional drawings was to convey shades of emotion that come with anxiety. It was to be a collection of three expressive drawings of hands wherein the poses chosen would be a personal habit that occurs when I am nervous. The habit involves real a tendency to scratch my arm as emotions of stress build. These include one of wiry anxiety, another of a more dull stress and finally a placid tenseness.

goings on of everyday the most stimulating, for they are perhaps the closest to reality in its true form. This stretches right up to and beyond the stories that make people who they are, the observation of passers by and my own speculation towards what may be a factor in their lives. Narratives are possibly the most common theme across all my work. I have found that one of the most universal and engaging things about a story is the level of intrigue it produces and the power of its message. As a result, my source of inspiration certainly derives from a wide range of expert storytellers. 
At times it may be British director Joe Wright who’s stunningly beautiful cinematography captures the imagination and transports youOther times I find that it is Oliver Jeffers, a picture book artist who’s honest simple drawing and clever use of space combine word and drawing so seamlessly for a visual and literary experience that that is so simple and yet so powerful. Sometimes it might stem from Michael Borremans, who’s beautifully composed paintings and the forlorn feel of its subjects and the oddities in spatial grammar keep you always engaged. The facets of inspiration are many and no composition could do them all justice, suffice to say that each brings their own magic to the table.

Habits such as a nervous tick and other actions that make up everyday serve as a great source of inspiration to me. The reason

ordinary occurrences to be one of the most honest ways to examine reality at its purest.And so the common place, everyday, routine and even mundane are featured heavily in my work and even celebrated. for this is perhaps that I find

Honest realities of the simple goings on in the life of a person have been examined through this book structure. All written interactions taken over a single week; every email, receipt and instant message conversation were placed into clear pages imitating the manner in which events and actions come overlap and flow from one to another creating a period of time. The capturing of human

moments within everyday life is to me one of the one most fascinating subjects to deal with. They

hold truthfulness that is universally relatable. In addition to this they also present a degree of intrigue. The idea that everyone

In all these works of

is leading a particular life with its own characteristics, experiences and memories presents endless opportunities of exploration and interest.

creative in they’re clever execution. It truly spurs me on and gives me a marvelous sense of excitement to see such a level of accomplishment.

In addition to this these moments also present a degree of

inspiration, the artist, although each very different from the other in style and medium, all approach what they do best with honesty. And so, this prevents their work from being contrived but rather, leaves it feeling original and

I hope to create work in a clever way that will resonate with people whatever it may be, be it in terms of a social impact or otherwise. Hopefully it is not too much of a stretch to wish for, but it would mean even more if one of my works were to set a flurry of delight and excitement in an observers mind Ideas are generated by inquiry. This process of questioning and placement of the subject at hand into a wider context fuels the beginning of a creative process. It is to me the most organic and stimulating part of any project wherein its scope is widened with a thrilling anticipation of unknown possibilities.

intrigue. The idea that everyone is leading a particular life with its own characteristics, experiences and memories presents endless opportunities of exploration and interest. This book hopes to present an honest communication of experiences of many people passing through Dubai Airport’s terminal Three. Found objects from the airport that are unique to the process of traveling through this terminal (such as tickets and luggage tags) were combined with my personal documentation of the commuters in the form of sketches. The combinations of physical objects that were real parts of peoples passing through the terminal and my own personal representation of the travelers should result in a tactile illustration of the airport and the many unique through it everyday.

journeys that are taken


The power of a story lies in that it is the most universal

The rhythm and music choice of the video was also paid attention to, as it had to reflect the mood of Borremans work. A steady rhythm was created that would be almost like a metronome or the pace of someone breathing that would create an almost eerie calm similar to that which Borremans work lends itself to.

Its work that contains of some kind of narrative that has always been a constant source of inspiration for me. This spans over all

In order to deal with the spatial obscurity in Borremans paintings, I have tried to reproduce a similar effect by experimenting with similar images existing within two states (immersed in water and dry).

modes of communicating. We live through stories and identify ourselves within them. It is one of the most natural and engaging subject matters. literary, film, musical or painting. The common thread is that the stories they are trying to communicate have been done in a clever and authentic way. mediums, whether it be

I find that the close examination of works with some form of a narrative has been one of the most effective ways to hone my own skills as an artist and learn how to communicate my own stories in the same

genuine and well-crafted way.The examination and analysis of existing stories and manner in which they have been told is a wonderfully rich and expansive.

The beginning of the video has been framed so that the context of the model is obscure. Shots of her immersed in water and out are varied but with a hope to keep her context still obscure. This has been achieved with a certain amount of success but I hope that coupled with his ambiguous expression, the video will still be able to raise questions and set a captivating but also almost unnerving image, in the same way Borremans work does. The examination of the manner in which artists have interpret their subject matter resulted in my taking great care when

The initial aim of this work was to reinterpret a scene from the fable Sleeping Beauty In The Wood, however while looking into

attempting to translate the subjects I am presenting into physical form. This is applicable to whatever project I am taking whether it be a book structure involving the travellers of terminal three or even the line work and representation of a simple illustration.

already existing interpretations of this story an increasing interest into how the scenes of the story were expressed through the performance of the ballet developed.The dramatic gestures of the dancers and opulent nature of the theater lead to a cu-

The culmination of research, design

riosity of how a form of performance art could be translated back into a print. Thus taking an interpretation of the original tale of Sleeping Beauty In The Wood, which was translated into a performance art, and reverting it back to an illustrated form. The scene chosen is from Tchaikovsky’s ballet version of sleeping beauty. It shows the prince entering the court with the aid of the velvet fairy as the overgrown forgotten palace allows for great interpretation and the stance of the dancers is particularly expressive. An attempt to interpret and illustrate the climatic nature of this point in the tale has been made using etching, thus making use of the textural line-work that etchings are capable of creating.

thinking, drawing from real life and utilizing the influence of other artists in my own work is the route I have tried to take in order to produce legitimate and engaging work. This piece clearly demonstrates all the different aspects of my design proses. It draws from my personal fascination with the airport and the many people that go through them everyday by trying recreate the experience of ‘people-watching’ at Dubai International Airport. It is a place where people from all walks of life? can be witnessed within the same flow or buzz, making it one of the most fascinating places to people-watch. These travelers, while all interestingly unique as you watch them, merge into a similar haze of faces that form a very specific crowd that is, the airport crowd. I have attempted to present this flow of ushered crowds and that specific type of energy while zoning in on specific individuals

The mode in which stories are told transcend mediums and exploring the relationship between mediums and the possibilities that exist between them has been of particular interest.

and moments in the bustle. In a way, it could be seen as an act of marrying the experience of just generally watching the

This piece of work has been created in an attempt to explore and touch upon Michael Borremans dealings of the nature of being human and what he has referred to as “ideological failure” of his work.

exactly the experience of people

I have chosen to interpret his work through a video as Borremans himself moves between the mediums of paint and film seamlessly demonstrating that the two mediums have such similarities that one can inform the other. Therefore by using reference to his work and translating them into another medium I hope to rework or create a dialogue with the themes he has already explored. I have drawn direct reference from the imagery of Borremans 2004 piece A2 and his work in portraiture. I found it most intriguing to work with these images as Borremans dealings with human subjects in his work is a key conceptual element that informs almost all of his work. He transforms his subjects into props by stripping them of all individuality and making them essentially vague and anomalous props rather than human beings. In this way he deals with a different kind of truth about his subjects through their detachment, one that accepts them as simply props that exist in a painting but through that raise questions about real human existence. T hese works touch upon a different kind of storytelling that strays from the traditional structures of narrative but allows the profound intrigue created by its subjects leaving the viewer wanting to know more of what their story is and leads them on a journey of speculation and self examination. He achieves this by attempting to remove any characteristics that could be defining, such as era specific clothing making his models as universal as possible. The model in my work therefore has been dressed in non-specific white shirt with no defining aspects of her other than the manner in which she has tied her hair, which was taken as a direct reference from Borremans A2. The rhythm and music choice of the video was also paid attention to, as it had to reflect the mood of Borremans work. A steady

mass overall bustle of the airport and its travelers, combined with focusing in on a specific moment and person during a brief moment. It would be one of many that are essentially the same, yet each is in fact, quintessentially different, making it a replica of

watching at the airport of which I am so fond.

In order to accomplish this, I wanted recreate this combination of a dynamic yet honed-in moment that may catch a person’s attention unwittingly, or seemingly so at least. Therefore, I chose to combine a video with screen-print. By projecting the video of the moving people at the airport, I can recreate the ebbs and flows from a flurry of activity. Yet at the same time, there would be a still image of a few figures from this crowd that have been screen-printed onto the surface of the wall from which the video is being projected. This gives the effect and experience of imagery from a constantly moving crowd that can be viewed at the same time as being able to see the specific individuals there who are going on their journeys. Finally, the connection between the crowd and the individual is met when the video and the imagery that has been screen-printed meet for a few moments and line up recreating the experience of people watching at the airport where the rush and moments can be experienced simultaneously.


undergraduate portfolio #1  

Undergraduate portfolio first phase-visual art