Another Way of Looking: Influences from Islam
main gallery: May 21 to June 26, 2010
Salma Arastu, Praying Together, 2008, acrylic on canvas, 38x64”
My works are inspired by my faith. Islamic values are the most important to me and I am especially touched by two major principles of the faith.
Allah is One, abstract, formless and beyond imagination and secondly God has created such diversity among humans and He commands them to live together in harmony and turn towards Him with praises to establish unity. So through calligraphy I was trying to pay my gratitude to Allah and with the same lyrical line, I started doing these connected figures as if I wanted to bring the whole world together. As if I want to spread Allah’s love by bringing people together with this single line of positive energy. Allah wants us to live together and share together and thus I recreate these visions which show people in celebrations, visiting neighbors, and family reunions, celebration of life, glow of unity and the hope of the new earth.
Salma Arastu has been painting for more than thirty years, since earning her degree in Fine Arts from Maharaja Sayajirao University in Baroda, India. Her work with continuous and lyrical line is influenced by her native culture and her residence in Iran and Kuwait. Born into the Sindhi and Hindu tradition, she later embraced Islam through her marriage. As a woman, a Hindu, a Muslim and a multi-cultural artist and a mother, she sees a unique opportunity to create harmony and world transformation through the expression of the Universal in her art.
Salma Arastu exhibited her work in India, the United States, and in Europe. Many of her works are in private and public collections. Shortly after arriving in the United States, she became an entrepreneur with the creation of Your True Greetings, a successful greeting card company that uses her paintings and calligraphy to serve the needs of Muslim communities in the United States, Canada, Japan and Great Britain.