One could undisputedly argue that true art could not be contained, for true art transcends all obstacles to present a captivating message. Regardless of training, structure or methodology, true art surpasses all. Always possessing the soul of an artist, Dr. Shurooq Amin is an established Anglophone poet, a certified interior decorator, a professor at Kuwait University, and an accomplished contemporary artist by surprise. Celebrated internationally for her painting “Society Girls” from her London collection entitled The Bullet Series, her paintings can be found at esteemed locations throughout the world, from the opulent Bayan Palace in Kuwait to the OPEC headquarters in Vienna. Her recent participation at the Tilal Gallery for the exhibition “Marking International Women’s Day” showcased two more pieces from her previous London Exhibition, The Bullet Series, including the soul stirring ‘my country is ill’.
Having undergone no professional art training, Shurooq Amin paints to present an unequivocal raw exploration of modern Arabian society, where East meets west in an unprecedented fusion of culture presented by our society today. This is moreover demonstrated in her famed piece entitled “Society Girls”, where despite our societal advancements which construct women to appear as perfectly polished, educated and cultured modern individuals, there is a deeper mental conflict reflecting an internal culture shock.
Born to a Kuwaiti father and Syrian mother, she painted casually throughout her childhood. 1992, an undoubtedly pivotal year for the artist, she followed her hidden passion to voraciously paint a complete series of 30 canvases. Her voice, an idea, visualized through her first canvas, only completely conveyed her message upon the completion of 29 other pieces.
Always perceiving her passion as a true blessing, Shurooq rebelliously challenges the norms of our modern societies in an effort to annihilate stereotypes, stirring the minds of people through complex, multilayered pieces, which prompt us to delve into the often hushed and hidden realities of our modern society.
Merging traditional painting and photography, her unique formula portrays a distinctive quality of reflecting various hidden layers and details where one must continue to strip away each layer to reveal the truth. Truth in art, once again, is arguably subjective, yet this is highly challenged when one is presented with an artist whose voice strongly conveys the untold truths of silenced voices.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A summer in Italy, staying in a Castello with my friends and family, having a rowdy lunch in the garden overlooking the vineyard, peals of laughter filling the air, the aroma of freshly baked bread, music sifting through the air from inside, the sun reflecting its bright rays onto the long teak table and bouncing off our smiling faces. Sigh…I want to retire like that.
What is your greatest fear?
Death, or the death of loved ones. Other than that, everything else is manageable.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Sometimes I’m too spontaneous and impulsive, and that gets me in trouble. I’m sometimes like that with everything, as I tend to follow my instinct, which I trust deeply when making important decisions. But when it comes to expressing myself vocally, I probably should be more conservative sometimes.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
I hate it when people are very late, and I become upset waiting for people, as my time is absolute gold to me given the nature of my work and finding the perfect time to paint. I also dislike stinginess in all its various forms, stinginess with money, or time, or simply with a smile. A person who is not generous is simply a “bad karma” sort of person that I don’t want to associate with.
Which living person do you most admire?
My daughter, Lujain.
What is your greatest extravagance?
My biggest extravagance now is allowing myself the time to paint at anytime I want. I am honored to have the ability to paint, I love it and it is a true luxury, I am so lucky to have the natural ability to paint from within, it is a true gift and I pray to God that this gift always stays inside me.
That notion in itself is an extravagance as it takes away from family, even though they understand and support the nature of my work.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Don’t think about it; just do it”, which stems from my impulsiveness. Or “We’ll figure it out”, an expression I picked up from my best friend. I love it because it applies to everything and anything we do in life. And of course, “everything’s gonna be alright”, because I do believe in the blueprint of life.
“You can do anything you set your mind to.” is also a phrase I overuse as I always remind my children that sometimes unattainable goals are achievable.
When were you happiest?
I have snapshots of happiness. I was happiest in my childhood, and as adult snapshots of happiness come from experiences that make me happy. This could range from a success in my art career, rolling around on the floor and playing with my youngest son Khaloodi, or hearing my children express their happiness with our life. Waking up late and having my two youngest bounce into bed with me, or watching a movie with my kids, or watching the glorious sun set from my studio window as I paint and listen to music. These simple little luxuries make me the happiest person.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I’d want to be able to ride a motorcycle across Europe! I’ve learned to ride a motorcycle in Kuwait but gave up after I fell, as these engines are quite heavy to manage! Otherwise, I do have the talent of dancing as I took ballet for ten years, but I didn’t have that little extra natural ‘je ne sais quoi’ for classical dancing! It would have required much more patience, time and dedication to master but I would have loved to become the ultimate prima ballerina to prance on stage and do Swan Lake effortlessly.
Where would you most like to live?
I would love to live in Spain. I would have a house up in Barcelona, a house down in the south by the sea, and something in the countryside or mountainside like Sienna. I love the language, the weather, and the people. There is native element about the Spanish culture that is so unique, from flamenco dancing, bull fighting, to the wonderful food. Spain is a work of art and has inspired me to write full collections of poems that I used for my PhD dissertation.
Visit www.shurooqamin.com to further explore her bespoke art collection, the artist’s personal statement and her revered poetry collection.