Meena Sediqi’s work is as much a statement as it is art. With every collage she creates, her aim is to keep the culture and history from war-torn countries alive. “The media,” she says, “portrays a different side of war-torn countries and mainly has the spotlight on rebel groups. I depict a distinct side; one that creates a nostalgic effect of lost history, culture and architecture.”
A combination of thoughtful pattern play, photography and illustration, her work is at once nostalgic, evocative and adventurous. Perhaps most endearing is the individual stamp she puts on each of her creations; this digital artist adds a personal trait to each of her introspective and flamboyant pieces. Themes that emerge include political figures, fashion and different calligraphy formats.
Drawn to the distinctive quality of her work, Pif Magazine caught up with Meena to learn more about her projects, her passions and her plans for the future.
What’s your backstory?
Being born and raised in Australia, I’d constantly see my parent’s country, Afghanistan, mentioned as breaking news. My perspective changed when I visited Afghanistan in 2010, and the distinctive culture inspired me to learn more about my country. Afghanistan had many great icons who made a positive impact on society before the Taliban made headlines. When I discovered the beauty in this country’s culture, I decided I wanted to keep it alive through digital collage art.
Where were you educated or trained, and what did you study there?
I studied and completed my High School Certificate at Macarthur Girls high school. Growing up I had always loved creating anything physically or digitally and I’m so happy that I’m able to do both through my studies which is Design majoring in Fashion and Textiles.
Throughout my studies, I was taught to use different Adobe programs. Through these programs I was able to create an amalgam of existing paintings, artefacts and images, which reflected my worldview.
What do you do now, and what projects are you working on putting together in the future?
I’m working on emphasising my theme of keeping culture and history alive by branching out and researching more about countries in a similar situation to Afghanistan. In doing so, I hope my audience sees the Middle East/ Asia in a more positive light, and shift prejudice thinking. Future projects I have in mind is to
make use of more technology/software’s and add motion towards my collage work.
What is your personal philosophy, and how–if at all–is it reflected in your artwork? What artists are you influenced by, and what would you say your work is characterized by?
My dad has always been someone that has influenced my perspective on many things. The art he pursued as a hobby was traditional miniature art and calligraphy.
He sees the good in everyone and everything. And most of that is reflected in my artwork, recognizing that there is beauty in every culture, religion and person regardless of the bad exterior.
What mediums do you use most often and what about these draw you in?
I use Adobe programs to create most of my work. Using technology, I have been able to build upon my ideas and develop my skills through the introduction of different tools and programs. I believe this artform is especially important, as the world is becoming more and more digitized. Eras such as Romanticism, post-war, (etc) hold art that depicts the trials, tribulations, and joys of that particular period. I believe by experimenting with digital collage art, I can express my cultural heritage, and represent my journey of exploration into Middle Eastern/ Asian cultures.