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Bird of Paradise

Acrylic,texture gel and calligraphy markers on canvas  

100 x 100 cm

My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that,
and I intend to end up there.
This drunkenness began in some other tavern.
When I get back around to that place,
I'll be completely sober. Meanwhile,
I'm like a bird of paradise, 
sitting in this aviary.
The day is coming when I fly off

- Jalal-al-Din Rumi

Bird of Paradise, Taiba Faraj

This well known poem by Rumi inspired my work. It reflects the resolute strength and faith that underpin the daily lives of women as they strive for fulfillment, peace and harmony.

In Islamic mysticism, the bird is one of the symbols of the human spirit that flies to its home. The bird is the perfect symbol for freedom and perspective. Because they fly high into the sky, Lightworkers often tell us that they are messengers of the Divine who provide humanity with a bridge between the mundane and spiritual life.

I have used the shades of turquoise and blue which symbolize the color of paradise and heaven.

Taiba Faraj

Born in 1983 , Taiba Faraj graduated from the University of Bahrain with a degree in Banking and Finance. Faraj is a self-taught artist who took the step in 2012 to leave finance in order to pursue her career as a creative calligrapher.

As a committed calligrapher and artist who immersed herself in the art from starting age of 12, Faraj is familiar with several styles of scripts . She has moved on from traditional calligraphy practice on paper with bamboo pen and ink to working on canvas with brushes and sponges. She has strived to create backgrounds on canvas that evoke the effect of marbled paper. Effectively modernizing her calligraphy practice with this transition to canvas, Faraj works with random letters as well as verses from the Qur'an and poetry. Through form and color she gives her letters character and the ability to evoke emotion. Her current ambition is to develop a new script.


Faraj is also an up-cycling designer, creating works from tires, pallets and wood pieces. She has been involved in numerous up-cycling events and workshops.

Faraj has participated in more than 15 group exhibitions in Bahrain as well as exhibitions at the Victoria & Albert Museum and Gallery 8 in London and at the popular Desert Design Art Gallery in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

"I use the inborn and visual power of alphabet and letters, to convey my emotions to my audience; what I do is to deform and disarrange the shape of letters, make them dance, break them to create a different space and connections.  The subject and the idea can be anything, a poem, a memory, a song and . . . and I do my best to relate with my audience through my emotion; it doesn’t matter whether my viewer can read Arabic words or not, or where they are from, but only to understand and enjoy my work and to be able to relate to it. And this is the international language of art without borders or limits with where I can easily reflect my emotions and feelings outside the writing applications of the language." - Taiba Faraj

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