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Zeina El-Said: The Collage Artist You Should Keep On Your Radar

The artist who focuses on “sublime timelessness” intertwines her work with patterns, symbols, colours and symmetry.

Whether it’s her “Bird” series, the limited edition Valentine one or “Tales in Books,” Zeina El-Said tempts the viewer into a surreal and surprising universe. As well as regional Arab and ancient cultures, mythology and Islamic geometry influence the Jordanian-based collage artist, known for her methodically constructed digital prints. And the wide-ranging images she uses generates an aesthetic that makes her work instantly recognisable.

“My upbringing was divided between tribal/military atmosphere as well as artists and designers. Thus, my artwork followed a similar pattern. In my work a central character (hero or authority figure) leads the work and is interwoven within a story of patterns, ideas, architecture and details that belong to completely different origins,” the creative was quoted as saying on “Emergeast.” She added she focuses on establishing harmony through differences and creating "oneness from contrast of colour and ideas to convey the importance of transcending differences if one is to focus on beauty.”

El-Said, who was raised in a family of artists, has held solo and group exhibitions throughout the Middle East, Europe and Russia. Some of her latest solo expositions include “Love & Platonic Love” in Amman’s QODE Art Gallery, “Parallel Worlds” in Russia’s Madina Saralp Art Centre and the one held at the Istanbul Kafkas Cultural Centre, “Memoirs of a Nation.” Meanwhile, the talented artist has most recently been involved in group exhibitions like Amman’s A.D x Corner Gallery pop up and “Women Artists Together” held in the Jordanian capital’s Hindiyeh Art Gallery. That same year, 2019, El-Said participated in “NAHNU” in Amman’s Jodar Gallery, as well as “The Conference of Birds” in the city’s Jacaranda Images Gallery and “Room with a View” in its W Hotel. The hotel, as well as its sister one in Muscat, is also where the collage artist has taken some of her impressive commissions. In addition to her customised artwork for various hotels, El-Said has been given made to order projects, including art deco objects, for private villas in differing countries and companies like the Turkish Antakarana Organization. The patterns, signs, colours and proportion enthusiast has also taken part in numerous art fairs, including this year’s Egypt International Art Fair and Art Dubai in 2018.

While El-Said completed her higher education with a BA in Business Administration from the American Intercontinental University London, she has taken several art workshops and courses to perfect her technique. In addition to History of Art I & II while she was at her London-based university, El-Said took a course in drawing, water colour, oil painting and acrylic at Amman’s Ali Maher studio gallery. She also focused on the latter while attending Russia’s Ruslan Tsarim Studio. 

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