It takes more than courage to paint like Ghadah Al-Kandari. There is a spontaneous raw energy that radiates from this sensitive young woman’s work. The work is captivating, with an unusual simplicity and straightforwardness.
Compared to her earlier works, Ghadah’s current work is mellow in terms of her palette. The narrative theme, however, remains the same, with an obvious focus on women. With an expressive emotional warp, she seems to be going through a “white” phase. Ghadah’s signature utilizes a pristine white background painted with a thickly loaded brush to create visually engaging paintings that trace the journey of anonymous women.
“There is a claustrophobic element...the white could be the fog or the snow. My reactions snowballed into a show and well, yes, the show goes beyond the Yellow Tape Portraits,” she indicates.
Ghadah uses her canvas as a vehicle to carry the weight of emotions. Her inspiration is largely derived from moments in her life and the exhibition underlines it .
“Everything I do, the way incidents shape my life, are bound to reflect in my work.”
The repetitive order of images on her canvases, frozen in a single frame, urges the viewers to look at their facial expressions more closely. Ghadah’s women, rendered in an interesting manner, seemingly grapple with crises, sadness, confusion, anxiety and pain amid a trace of creative liberation.
“If there was a sale of women ...you could find these in a flea market,” she comments with a wry smile.
Her women, with uniform, elegant bobs, are vexed and perplexed; no one seems happy, but one common thread that joins them is their tenacity to thrive.
“I become more and more aware of my emotions when I paint, and somehow I never paint with a plan.”
The acrylics and oil pastels, as a medium, allow her to be rather spontaneous. Her techniques bring out all the subtle underlying gradations of tone, even though some are cloaked under white clouds.It would not be wrong to say that in some way, while Ghadah’s art may reflect her personal journey, it also personifies universal feelings that affect us all from time to time. Ghadah’s paintings definitely go beyond her subjects, and her intimate canvases leave you with a multitude of questions.