UoR MA Art Show

Salma Haque

Salma Haque


Salma Haque

My creative expression flourishes from my faith, multi-cultural heritage, and my diverse identity. I find peace in practicing my deen as ‘a way of life’ and seeking guidance from the Quran. Despite my fragmented understanding of it, art helps to illustrate the beauty of its messages. Naturally, I am drawn to the aesthetic of Arabic calligraphy and practicing this art form brings me closer to my faith. Using acrylics, I also paint landscapes and natural life through which I see the beauty of my Creator. 

In search for my purpose in life, these artworks explore the Quran and its divine messages, reminding human beings of their duties in the world. The chosen text emphasise the temporality of the world, where people become far too engrossed in self-indulgence, forgetting their moral and social obligations.  

My practice is constantly evolving, taking on new challenges exploring texture, form, geometry, lines and symmetry. Inspired by Alhambra architecture, especially the archway and engraved Arabic text, the painting juxtaposes landscape with text, old with contemporary. Looking through an impressionistic aged archway an abstract illusion of the ephemeral world is created, where history and present meet. 

My research discovered centuries-old Persian poetry, found in Western archives, to elaborate my thoughts. I have extracted segments of poetry from small manuscripts and inscribed them on wall-like canvas to articulate powerful messages – seeking inspiration from Ali Omar Ermes and Hassan Massoudy in a manner akin to Shakir Hassan Al-Said, layering the canvas with expressive gestural marks. These words of reflection are similar to those seen on church billboards and on buses, demanding conversation and debate. This challenges the worldly materialistic messages projected on modern structures these days. I further break down letters from root words and create stylised plaque, enhancing their form.

Salma Haque: MA Fine Art

University of Reading
PO Box 217
United Kingdom