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Visual Arts

The Power of Creativity
16th October 2017

Ahead of the Platforma Festival later this month, we are using the Platforma blog to introduce some of the people who will be attending

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Salma Zulfiqar writes:

Art is an important vehicle to raise awareness of the humanitarian scenes I have witness over the passed 15 years while working with the United Nations in many countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kenya, Chad, Yemen, Egypt and Turkey.

I am a British abstract artist and most of my work has been inspired by landscapes, and culture in developing countries that I have visited.

I use a variety of techniques on canvas using acrylic and oil. I am fond of texture, so I use mounds of paint or other materials to help create depth and movement in my paintings – a reflection of my own life and of others around the globe.

My artwork is also a creative expression of my Pakistani background though the use of vibrant colour.

We live in a world where hatred is increasing and my vision is also to create art which is uplifting, art which draws in the person with a positive perspective and brings positive change into people’s lives.

My latest work, an educational art installation called ‘Building Peace Through the Oceans’ (See more here) is my artistic investigation into the issue of migration. The 6 canvasses in the installation are influenced by landscapes and textures and colours from different regions of the world: Africa, Asia, The Middle East, Latin America, Europe and North America. Each canvas reflects the positive impact that migrants have made around the world and explores the need for more integration. I hope to change perceptions and attitudes towards migrants though this project. See Here. 

I am passionate about the issue of migration because I come from a migrant family myself and understand the challenges migrants face. I believe migration is linked to the biggest issues affecting society today. Integration of migrants is key in tackling hate crimes, improving race relations and in preventing extremism worldwide and that art has the power to create social harmony.

I’ve also given light to other humanitarian issues. Some of my recent creations were inspired by Claude Monet and his water lilies series – instrumental in my collection on Climate Change, called Climats Chatoyant (Shimmering Climates)

My heros are Monet, Picasso, Braque, Gaugin, and Pollock to name a few. Their form and techniques are powerful and speak volumes to me.

My artwork has been exhibited in London, Birmingham, Paris, Dubai and Afghanistan. Read more about Salma’s work here:

Watch BBC TV Interview

Salma on the Huffington Post

TWITTER: @salmszee