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Dana Awartani: Reinventing Traditional Sacred Art

Armed with a keen eye for detail and a passion for reviving traditional art, Dana Awartani draws her inspiration from geometric shapes and patterns. The Saudi Palestinian contemporary Islamic artist translates the relationship between nature and geometry through her symbolic artwork.

After completing a Bachelor in Fine Arts at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design, she discovered that the conceptual teaching methods of contemporary European art did not quench her thirst for artistic knowledge. “I was looking for a track to follow, and looking deep down inside, I felt a yearning for [Islamic art] until I’ve discovered it,” Arwartani explains. She found her niche at the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, London, one of the only institutions that teach traditional art, where she explored a wide range of practices including tile art, parquetry, geometric artwork, ceramics, miniature painting, mosaics and illumination.

Influenced by her diverse educational background and Arab heritage, her handmade artwork reflects a constant effort for modernizing traditional modes of practice and reintroducing them into the modern art scene.

Arwartani’s Islamic geometric pieces marry divinity with innovation, creating a timeless and universal form of art. According to her, sacred geometry represents a universal language of aesthetics that connects all faiths and cultures.  With that said, the Jeddah native is determined to build bridges and introduce the world to the beauty of Islamic culture.

Dana Arwatani’s work knows no borders. Besides being exhibited locally at Athr Gallery in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, her art has travelled to the UAE, Qatar, Morocco, Italy, China, India, France, and is currently on display in New York at The Institute of Arab and Islamic Art (IAIA) until June 30.

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