Faryal Ahmad is a Contemporary Fine artist creating atmospheric landscapes and seascapes.
For several years she worked in the world of fashion but when a colleague suddenly died it created a ripple effect in her life and she began to question her mortality and purpose.
That’s when she decided to listen to her heart and follow her childhood dream of becoming an artist.
She left her career in fashion in August 2007 and began painting in her newly formed studio, but it wasn’t for long. By December that year she was struck by crippling Rheumatoid Arthritis and was no longer able to hold a brush let alone paint.
It took nine gruelling months of treatment, medication, resting and patience before she was able to hold a paint brush again.
This time she found herself painting in her studio with a new sense of gratitude not only for the gift but also the ability. She set herself a hard task. To paint a flower in great detail, detail that would require a strong, steady hand and a good grip. Not easy. But she accomplished it.
From then on it has been a challenge and an amazing journey balancing her passion with the restrictions the disease imposes on her. It’s been frustrating, but she continues to push herself and constantly strives to create more exciting pieces of work.
After becoming a Muslim in 2002 she wanted to practice her love of art, but not in the typical Islamic Art style. Islamic art is generally mosaic art, created using tiles and placed in a methodical, mathematic pattern. But Faryal chooses to combine her love for painting and colour with images captured in her dreams and developed by her imagination. With music playing the image changes further as it gradually unfolds on to the canvas. She calls these "Dreamscapes".
She believes she is the only Muslim woman wearing a headscarf who is practising art like this today. She comments, “I’ve been doing this for a few years now and so far the only other hijab wearing Muslimah I’ve encountered was practising Islamic Art”. She believes, “Painting a piece of original art is such a personal creative expression that comes from the heart. I like nothing more than building a picture in my mind and realizing it on canvas”.
Although she studied art to some level, like many artists she is mostly self-taught and what she paints is completely original.
Coming from a Muslim Pakistani background, painting isn't an area someone like her would usually go in to, but she believes her background inspires her even more to be the best she can and to express herself in unique and different ways.