Any art form, whether it be sculpting, painting, or anything in between, requires the use of materials. When creating a sculpture do you want to use stone or metal? And what kind of stone or metal best reflects the message you want to portray in the piece? The same goes for paintings: oil or acrylic? There are a number of choices an artist can make when creating something. The choices made always carry intention, both creative and practical.

The specific materials used ultimately influence the art just as much as the artist does. They are equally, if not more important than the creator themself. How an artist chooses their materials relies on a number of things. From a creative perspective, the material chosen represents something; it sends a message to the audience viewing the piece. It can also carry a deeper meaning or connection to the artist themselves. As I have grown as an artist and worked with a number of different materials, I have found myself drawn mostly to iron, bronze, and stainless steel. I feel as though these materials best encapsulate my voice. I am able to connect with my own art better because I choose the materials that feel most like me.

These three metals also reflect the blend of art and architecture that has risen to prominence in Qatar. Industrial metals function as an homage to the ever growing and evolving metropolis, while also acknowledging the past.

Through them, I am able to blend past and present together while also revealing a part of myself and my own story.

On a practical level, using these materials also ensures the visibility of my art because they fit well into the world around us, as art and architecture are so closely intertwined in Qatar. The materials I use allow my art to integrate well into any space, thus allowing me to reach a wider audience and the public, more generally.

Although some materials like iron are hard to work with, I still find myself willing to push through and transform the tough metals into something beautiful. Even though it is physically and mentally taxing, I enjoy the challenge in expressing myself. My art feels most like myself because I’ve learned over time how to work with the materials I best connect with.

An artist’s materials matter. Choosing ones you connect with allows you to feel more passionate and excited about your own work. Sometimes creating art is difficult. Materials can be difficult to work with and your drive may dwindle at times, but as long as you choose to work with what you love, the intention behind the piece will always shine through and resonate with your audience.