In life, one truly has just two options. Sink or swim. Most would like to think they would swim and yet most end up sinking, stuck in a place they never really intended to be. After being trapped by societal standards and traditions, contemporary artist Fatma Al Shebani chose to swim. With that choice, she placed herself in society’s line of fire and opened herself up to the art world’s criticism. She rebelled, broke barriers, and made a name for herself.
For over 15 years she has reached people across the world with her art. From Qatar to the Western world and to Palestine, there remains little doubt that she has left a significant impact and solidified her place in the art world. The unique style and voice behind her paintings and sculptures have allowed her to stand out. Every piece she creates retains a piece of herself through the story she aims to construct. Still, much like anything worthwhile, she traveled a long and winding road to accomplish all that she has.
Art always constituted a major part of Shebani’s life. From a young age, she painted and wrote poetry. Her pursuit of higher education at Qatar University also centered around art. Shebani claims that her studying art at university was a pure coincidence, but it nevertheless demonstrates her deep connection with the craft. Art was, perhaps, ingrained in her. The need to create has seemingly always flowed through her veins and intertwined with her soul. Even without consciously deciding to pursue a career as a professional artist, Shebani found herself drawn to the creation of art.
As time went on, Shebani’s life took slight detours. She married and started a family. Shebani had no intention of becoming an artist, but she still created and joined group exhibitions. Her separation from her husband in 2003 pushed her to rediscover herself and recalibrate her professional goals. After attaining freedom and deciding to pursue this creative passion, in spite of the views of those around her, she began to truly shine and find her voice. She separated herself from the crowd and carved out a space in which she now expresses herself, however she pleases.
Every artist has a start, Fatma Al Shebani’s journey – like many– began with painting. Now, she is well known for her metal work and sculptures, pieces that bridge traditional and modern Qatari culture. Her paintings, however, from her own perspective hold equal weight in her portfolio. Shebani’s paintings are often seen as unconventional. She broke the rules of art much like she broke the many conventions placed on her by society. Through painting, she explores the abstract, while also experimenting with color and texture. She allows her free spirit and curiosity to guide her in creating, which results in dynamic pieces that captivate audiences as they carefully explore every inch of the canvas. Her sculptures tell a story, but her paintings reveal layers of her ‘true self’.
In every one of Shebani’s paintings, it is difficult to know exactly where to look first. The paint itself acts to guide the viewer, drawing their eyes to certain parts as though they move through a world of Shebani’s creation. The broad range of colors used in each piece only adds to the creation. Often, the color schemes she employs consist of gentle hues, both warm and cool, but, on occasion, her work makes use of bright, eye-catching, contrasted colors. Shebani demonstrates breadth solely through the many different color combinations she utilizes. Her experimentation with color reflects her own constant personal evolution and willingness to embrace change. Every piece is different and reflects a different aspect of her identity.
Like color, texture and dimension play a major role in her painting process. When one thinks of paintings on canvas it can be difficult to imagine anything other than a 2D piece of art. Shebani breaks that boundary through exaggerated texture. There is a certain depth and physicality to the art she creates. Once again, she shifts from typical conventions in order to bring something new to her audience. She does not shy away from being different and creating something ‘unusual’. Instead, she embraces her defiant nature, going against the grain and doing so masterfully
Shebani once floated idly, slowly sinking into a life that never suited her. Eventually, she dived deep into the oceans of the art world and took control of her narrative. Her start was slow, but once she recognized her true calling, her art began to shine in new and exciting ways. At first glance, her abstract art may seem purely aesthetic in value, however, when one takes into consideration the personality behind the work, the disparate dimensions of the artist become apparent.
SPOTLIGHT: Sweet vinyl by DREAMOUR
What happens when two immensely talented visionaries come together to create elegance and ingenuity in a sculptural glass fragranced candle? Dreamour. That is the long and short version of how Dreamour was created. Founded by Karissa Rowe and Neal Klotsman in late September 2022, Dreamour was founded with the goal of creating a luxury fragrance brand that operates at the intersection of functional art in the candle market space.
Rowe, a Parsons School of Design graduate, set out to fill the niche of integrating design in the candle marketplace. Unlike most candle vessels that are mass-produced, Dreamour’s founders desired to prioritize the artisanal craftsmanship of glass in their production processes of the sculptural glass designs. This resulted in a long timeline of sourcing the globe for talented glass artisans who could transform a sketch into a functional and sophisticated candle vessel. Each and every candle vessel is hand-blown, inherently resulting in a one-of-a-kind product and unique experience for the consumer. These functional fragrant candles also act as a piece of décor due to its sculptural and alluring appearance.
Sweet Vinyl, Dreamour’s first candle scent, fills the room with musky & leathery notes combined with earthy notes of vetiver and cypriol, topped with a citrus touch of bergamot and mandarin. The founders worked with master perfumers in Grasse, France, to create a scent that invoked notes of memorable moments, emphasizing high quality ingredients in the fragrances in a soy wax blend. This resulted in candles that consist of clean ingredients, a vegan formula, and is entirely cruelty-free.
It is the personification of the glass blowers’ spirit, the heart of Grasse imprisoned in a bottle, and the narrative of two visionaries that sets Dreamour at the top of the candle market pedestal. Dreamour embodies the sophistication and savior-faire French perfumery as a luxury brand, while being a NYC based brand. Dreamour is currently stocked at Patron of the New in New York, along with other major designer luxury known brands. Rowe and Klotsman are currently expanding their production lines and will drop new fragrances and designs in early 2023. Don’t expect anything ordinary with Dreamour, as they will continue to bring a unique perspective to the marketplace of home fragrances.
To find out more about Dreamour and their newest releases, you may visit the business’s website dreamour.com or follow the company via its Instagram handle @dreamourshop.
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