Salma Arastu

Pandemic, The Light Therein
International Virtual Art Exhibition Series

(September 2020)

BIO

As a visual artist, Salma Arastu, has almost 40 plus solo shows to her credit including the US, Germany, Morocco, Kuwait, Iran and India. In 2015 her exhibition held at Museum of Contemporary Religious art ay St. Louis Missouri was widely acclaimed and broadcasted on NPR radio and Public television nationwide. She has also won several awards including the East Bay Community's fund for artists for 2012, 2014 and 2020, and the City of Berkeley's Individual Artist grant award for 2015 and 2016. She has three works in public places and has been invited to present her talk, "Seeking Oneness" at museums and universities both domestically and internationally. Some locations include the University of Munster, Germany, the Museum of Contemporary Religious art, St. Louis University, Seattle University, Stanford University and Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley.

Artist Statement

My works are lyrical, spiritual, figurative, and calligraphic. My paintings reveal stories of unity in diversity, peace and joy and celebration of life. Whether in paintings or sculptures, the faceless figures represent the universal oneness of all humanity. Line is a very important component in my work. I celebrate energy and movement of line in my paintings, drawings, and sculptures. Since my exposure to Arabic calligraphy during my stay in the Middle East, my line has become more lyrical, melodious, and powerful. Arabic Calligraphy, miniatures, and the folk art of Islam and the Hindu tradition continue to influence my work today. I have tried to bring together Eastern spirituality and Western techniques of painting learned over the years.

My method is a physical and meditative process that fills each canvas with moving lines and multi-layered textures. For me creating art means getting physically involved with the piece: scratching, sanding, layering materials like paper, rope, modeling paste, paper mache or copper plate, and embroidering with pen and ink. I apply thin layers of acrylic color and the different layers bring out subliminal images.

Salma Arastu

Emeryville, California

India

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Pandemic

Pandemic

Until You Change Yourself

Until You Change Yourself

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