(Mathqaf) In conversation: Aysha Almoayyed

(Mathqaf) In conversation: Aysha Almoayyed

Aysha Almoayyed (b. 1988) is a Bahraini artist living and working in Paris. Her artistic practice spans painting, sculpture, drawing, digital media, photography, and installation. In fact, her medium is everything within her reach. Inherently experimental, her work explores and reveals the hidden microcosms of the Middle East in pursuit of countering limitations in expression. Before obtaining her MFA at Goldsmiths University in London, Almoayyed studied Business at Bentley University in Massachusetts. She exhibited her work regionally and internationally in Manama, Dubai, Paris, London, and Hangzhou.

Wadha Al-Aqeedi: Hello Aysha! Can you introduce yourself and what do you do?

Aysha Almoayyed: I’m Aysha Fareed Almoayyed, I am a visual artist who plays with everything. I have some repeating ideas and motifs, but they take all forms. I’m currently playing around with faience tiles.

WA: Can you take us back to when and how it all started. How did you become interested in art and decided to pursue it academically and professionally?

AM: I took an unconventional route. I went to business school for four years, graduated and started working in a bank as a Market Risk Analyst. If you don’t know this job, it’s pretty fucking boring. I don’t mean to be rude, but it is repetitive; many banks now have a program that does the job. So, in a way, I was the first to become obsolete by AI (Artificial Intelligence). I quickly realized that the job wasn’t for me and found myself painting again. Before I quit, I worked on a portfolio to submit to Goldsmiths. When I completed it, I submitted my resignation letter. It was beautifully crafted using Windows 2000 Paint Program. My boss congratulated me when I resigned, he told me art was a good idea.

I was utterly naive to think I was ready for an MFA. It was also like throwing a child in the deep end of a swimming pool. But I floated, then eventually swam. I spent the first three months of school just writing down words and names that I didn’t know. I remember it took me a while to realize that Kant was a philosopher and not a negation. Thankfully most of my professors thought my lack of art washing was refreshing. I eventually gained a little confidence and began using the great environment and resources to produce work. It was a great two years, and I learned a hell of a lot. In my last year, I asked the professor why I got into the program with obviously little experience. He said I had a strong portfolio and strong ideas. It’s nice to know that they don’t discriminate based on your educational background.



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