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The Creative World of Suzana Joumaa

Suzana Joumaa is an artist, a practising interior designer and a singer/songwriter. Her work is a reflection of her past and the hardships she and her country folks went through in war-ravaged Syria, portrayed subtly across mediums.

Suzana Joumaa calls herself a multi-artist and an interior architect. Her works take centre stage at Grey Times, an exhibition by The Fire Station: Artist in Residence programme that is focussed on the current context of the global outbreak of COVID-19 that is characterised by uncertainty and unprecedented challenges. Her artwork showcased at Grey Times, are vivid and commands attention. Colourful and stark, Suzana’s work is a journey to her subconscious mind, her experience and the experience of anyone who has lived and fled from a war-torn country. Her artwork is intense and relies heavily on symbolism in a mix of contemporary art and surrealism.

SCALE explores Suzana’s foray into creative arts. “Since my early childhood, I realised art in myself,” she says, “I used to draw, sing, and had a passion for creating. After graduating from the Faculty of Fine Arts, back in 2006-2007, my professional career kicked off and flourished after I finished my master’s degree in fine arts with distinction in surreal arts and architecture.”

Suzana has been participating in many artistic endeavours in the Arab world, “I took part in many exhibitions in Syria and Qatar while my designs reaching out and spread in Egypt, the Gulf, and Syria,” she says. But it is in Doha that she has blossomed and taken root thanks to the “artistic leap” the country has embarked on, according to Suzana.

Art in Qatar is in a constant, rapid, and accelerating movement, and, yes, it can be called an artistic leap since art here is flourishing rapidly and consistently achieving great qualitative leaps every year,” she says.

Support for creativity is high in the country, according to Suzana, with significant exhibitions of contemporary international artists and late masters being held here. “These exhibitions enrich the cultural scene in Qatar, which makes it keep pace with art in the world. Consequently, the activities of Qatar Museums and its support for innovative experiences raise the artistic level in the country, continuously, making Qatar closer to its artistic goals, locally and internationally,” she says. Though she also believes that art mirrors people’s civilisation.

“Qatar is a civilized and developed country that seeks to develop and hold high its image on a global level. It is evident that Qatar has succeeded in this regard. Qatar has also paved the way for artists of different levels to grow and work on their skills. I took the advantage of these opportunities, one of which was the Artist in the Residency programme at The Fire Station as well as winning the Qatar Al Fann Competition for the outdoor furniture and carpets category. Qatar Al Fann was an initiative by Qatar Museums, Doha Fire Station, Katara Hospitality, Public Works Authority (Ashghal), Qatari Diar and Coastal Qatar, where everyday functional objects were transformed by local artists into living pieces of art inspired by Qatari art and heritage.

The winning proposal by Suzana for the Qatar Al Fann Competition for the carpets category.

Suzana is equally thankful for the press which has been documenting and following her art initiatives. But what makes her truly proud is the words of encouragement from Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums when she came to visit the exhibition at the Fire Station.

But even with such an encouraging atmosphere from the authorities like Qatar Museums through education programmes and exhibitions, Suzana opinions that, “Art halls and galleries are still not sufficient to keep up with the activities of most of the current artists, as the artistic movement carries a greater flow than the capacity of the exhibitions or galleries.”

Talking about her exhibits at Grey Times, Suzana says, the “Mind Lab “collection which I presented at encompasses two installations and sculptures executed in 3D printing and oil-paint works with unique character and organic forms. My collection is recognised by the philosophical and symbolic dimensions and the hybridisation of art, architecture, and music. As the collection was accompanied by an original music album composed by the musician “Yahya Tello”. The album contains four music tracks. I performed the vocalist in the music tracks to give life to each individual artwork by combining the artist’s voice with his brush, hand, and lips movement so that the recipient can visualise and lives the illustration and experience that feeds his senses.”

What does the future hold for Suzana?

“As a multidisciplinary artist, I have no boundaries. I will continue to hybridise arts and integrate my state of mind in my works with art Technology and architecture. I will try my best to continue creating what is original and innovative every time.”

Inspiration

“In Qatar, the artist, Dr Alaa Al-Bashir, inspires me with his steadfastness and sincerity, and the friendly artist Ibtisam Al-Saffar, whose passion instigated the passion in me to paint.”

“From afar, I love Leonardo da Vinci’s mastery and intelligence, the madness of Dali, the vitality of Karim Rashid, the courage of Zaha Hadid, the innovation of Frank Gehry, the depth of Stanley Kubrick, and the state of mind he provides,” she continues, touching on her expertise in fields of design.

“However, I am directly inspired by art from the depths of my personal experiences where my feelings and dreams play the starring role. Furthermore, it is the mind and the thoughts it harbours along with nature that gives way to innovation without boundaries. This is the mould in which everything dissolves. I am currently working on creating a new contemporary art trend using all my creative skills of art and music, which I would call “The New Wave.”