-by Brenda Haroutunian
Art Copy is pleased to welcome Mueen Saheed, an artist from Columbo Sri Lanka, for a follow-up discussion about his art and creative experiences in 2016.
Earlier this year I examined the artist’s style and — among other things — concluded that the combination of abstract painting with its power to evoke feeling juxtaposed to figurative references that point to real life experience speaks to the human heart as well as the human intellect.
Mueen’s recent experiences in Europe.
During his sojourn, the artist painted, visited museums, met with friends and studied the European landscape. More, he refined his emotive, symbolically rich style stretching it out in new directions. As a result, his recent work is as nuanced in meaning as his exquisite, abstract narrative paintings in Galle, Sri Lanka. At the same time, he chartered new territory.
By contrast to the paintings that he created for the chic boutique hotel in Galle that include figurative references to the location’s history, the painting for the Munich commission is relatively abstract. The symbolism is also different in the Galle and Munich commissions. While the former refers to important moments in Sri Lanka’s history, the symbolism on the painting in Munich speaks to the power of healing. The piece is mostly abstract and purposely therapeutic. Nevertheless, the blue, dancing figures on the center panel represent souls dancing free in their imagination.
Afterward, Mueen visited DARWIN.CAMP in Bordeaux — an art themed collective — that supports artists commitment to environmental protection.
The artist lives on an island that is celebrated for its beaches and therefore is familiar with the challenges that climate change poses. At one point in our online discussion, Mueen said: Climate change is one of the main issues of this day and age. Water pollution, air pollution, disappearing species, disasters of horrifying magnitude plaque the earth and yet some like to deny the truths of the environment and of global warming.
Therefore, when Darwin provided him with a studio within the collective and art supplies for a commission, he was compelled to paint for twenty-four hours, neither eating nor sleeping or taking his eyes off from his work. Mueen describes the painting entitled The Two Oceans as a condensed expression of color and energy.
The artist views former French Prime Minister Alain Juppe, as a leader of climate change in an age of deniers.
Mueen’s European experience deepened his commitment to current events and concerns like climate change, gender violence as well as traditional themes such as history and philosophy. Indeed, he aspires to carry his style and message around the globe. For more information, please see, www.mueensaheed.com.