While some people tend to use the summer to rest and rejuvenate, abstract expressionist Areej Rajab spends the sunny season composing and creating her next colourful collection for all to enjoy in the coming artistic period next month.
The mother-of-three, who studied general management at Bahrain University and Hull University and then achieved two degrees from the London Art College in painting and art history, is working on new mixed media paintings related to her latest theme - entitled ‘Overlap’.
“The relationship between man and nature has long been the focus of my artistic endeavours, and in that relation, I explored the concept of overlapping,” Areej, a resident of Manama, told GulfWeekly.
“Throughout the creation of that body of work, I aimed to showcase the complex beauty of overlapped patterns in nature and natural surfaces and how they lead to the formation of a ‘bigger picture’ or a more intricate, sophisticated overall composition.
“The purpose behind it was to visually and symbolically reflect the overlapping nature of human behavioural and emotional patterns, which reverberate in the construction of certain social structuring and conventions.
“During the summer, I prepare for the next art season which usually begins at the end of September every year…and I want to continue working on paintings inspired by my ‘overlap’ theme.”
The vibrant artist also captured the hearts of art lovers last month with her showcase at The Red Dot, which featured an array of collage art with a message. The event was held at the Bahrain Art Society in Budaiya.
“In the most literal sense, the red dot is a symbol of acquisition, which signifies whether a painting has been sold,” explained Areej.
“Within my body of work, I utilised the symbol of the red dot to embed a sense of harmony in each piece. It is subtly interwoven into every work as an element that is present and non-existent concurrently, supporting the idea that the desire to produce sellable art does not need to eclipse the desire for deep, authentic expression.
“As an artist, I would always encourage consistency and authenticity to obtain a genuine and deep artistic experience.”
Areej started painting at the age of four after being inspired by her late aunt, a classical Bahraini artist, Sameeha Rajab.
Her artistic dreams flourished as she got older and she set out to bring joy to others through her work.
She participated in a series of exhibitions in Bahrain, Oman, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UK over the past few years.
She staged her first solo exhibition entitled Florals through the Bahrain Art Society in January 2010, and soon after, would make sure to feature her pieces every year either in group events or individually.
Areej held two art shows, This is Me 2011 and Inner Gestures 2012 under the patronage of the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (Baca) at Bahrain Arts Centre.
She featured her Ten Thoughts 2012 at Saffron café in Muharraq and later on participated in the Bahrain Second Annual Female exhibition Fearless Minds that same year at Bahrain Arts Centre.
She also joined the Bahrain Annual Art Exhibition in 2012, under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime Minister.
In 2013, she showcased her work in the Art in Mind 2013 exhibition at the Brick Lane Gallery in London, which was followed by a solo exhibition called Places 2013 at Bahrain Arts Centre, under the patronage of Baca.
She won third place in the Bahrain Annual Female Exhibition in 2013, conducted by Nadine Gallery at the Bahrain Art Centre and was invited by Qatar Art Regency in January 2014 to join a one-week art symposium.
In Oman, in 2014, she participated in the Love Oman exhibition in Muscat and had a solo exhibition called Pearl the same year, presented by Naqsh Gallery.
Her Visions of Colour was also held in 2014, followed by several more showcases.
Areej’s paintings have always been like her diary, with whatever happening in her life spilling over onto canvases of different sizes.
“I get my ideas from my own imagination as most of my paintings are like a journal to me,” she added.
“Colour on its own is a very powerful tool to communicate all sorts of emotions and reactions.”
Aside from exploring her art full-time, she also trains aspiring artists, even passing on tricks of the trade to International Baccalaureate art students…which she says she does because she ‘enjoys giving back to the youth’.
For details on her upcoming work or future exhibitions, follow
@areejrajab on Instagram.