Aadil Abedi is a fine artist and designer who creates a range of artistic designs connected by the central theme of showcasing the beauty of the Arabic script. Abedi strongly believes such beauty transcends faith, ideology, culture and is not limited to a traditional canvas. He conveys such universality through a unique deconstructed approach in bringing the Arabic script to life. Abedi gave Interiors magazine an exclusive Q&A about his art, his process, and creating his new collection of wallpaper for Area Environments, known for working with independent artists on unique designs.
The lines in your art are so beautiful and strong. Tell us about your training and background as an artist.
I am a self-trained artist who has always been passionate about creating art. I never thought I could pursue it as a fully fledged career, as it was something that was alien to me and my family and didn’t fit the confines of a “traditional” career path. Over the years I have experimented with different mediums and techniques, practicing my craft over and over with a lot of trial and error. I have exhibited my work in galleries and exhibitions across the world, partnered with amazing brands to enhance their products and have been commissioned by clients from all walks of life. I have sought mentorship from some of my favorite artists and am always looking for new ways to involve audiences into my world through my work. Being self-taught has come with its challenges of sometimes not fitting into the “art world,” but after many years of being consistent with my craft and continually putting myself out there, I feel truly blessed to call myself a full-time artist.
How were you connected with Area Environments for this collaboration?
Through the magic of social media! Abi Prado, Art Curator at Area Environments, came across my work and messaged me on Instagram. She very sweetly complimented my work and felt it would be a great addition to Area Environments’ portfolio of artists and interior designers. I have always dreamt of seeing my work translated into big scale murals and wallpapers, so this was truly a dream come true.
What mediums do you normally work in and how did your work translate to wallpaper? What was changed?
I traditionally work with acrylic paint on canvas and knew for this collection I would have to carefully think of designs that would be translated well onto bigger scale productions. I work predominantly with script and that too with the Arabic script. I wanted to maintain the element of flow and incorporate a mixture of geometric and midcentury aesthetics into the collection. Because Area Environments has such a talented in-house team, I was able to create the pieces in the same way I regularly do. In fact they insisted I create each piece with the same materials and thought process I would for any other collection. After each piece was scanned, we were able to turn them into beautiful larger scale pieces of art.
What is the name of the collection?
Language is an important aspect of every cultural identity. It has always been a tool to store information, share stories and wisdom and is the basis of furthering the advancement of humanity. For me, language and script have always played an integral part of my art. It’s been a gateway to invite other people into my world and show to them the beauty of the Arabic script. Art is the one thing that unites everyone. It’s non-confrontational. It’s non-political. For these reasons, language and art are intimately connected. They are both forms of self-expression and communication, and because of this synergy I decided to name this collection the Iqra Collection, translated to the Read collection. “Iqra” is the Arabic word for “read,” and it was the first word of the first revelation of the Quran. People can always feel an emotion when they see language, even if they don’t understand its meaning. All they need to do is “read” from their hearts and appreciate the beauty of the art.
What were your inspirations for this collection?
I strongly believe art transcends faith, ideology, culture and is not limited to a traditional canvas. I try to show the universality of the Arabic script, through a unique deconstructed approach. I compose designs that are visually appealing, striking and hope to engage people from all walks of life. I feel typography has the magic of uplifting one’s soul as the words dance across a page, a canvas and in this case a wall. I created designs which allowed for this freeflow of text to hopefully create a sense of calm, mixed with a bit of chaos, and overall beauty. I wanted to create a collection with an array of designs and arrangements of the Arabic script and named each piece after the emotion I felt when creating it. Some of my favorites are “In Your Light,” “Converge” and “Tranquil,” and I hope the audiences too come up with their own interpretations when they see my designs.
How did you narrow down which of your designs would be in the final collection?
I sat down with both Abi Prado and Diane Perry of Area Environments and asked them if they had any specific ideas in mind. They both told me they loved pretty much all the designs I had created in the past and completely gave me the freedom and license to create what I felt best. I knew I wanted to create pieces that would move people emotionally and picked soothing color palettes and designed compositions with that in mind. There are a lot of neutral color themes for the calm, and then more dramatic darker pieces for the chaos. But the overall impact the collection has, I think, speaks true to the beauty of language, and no matter what background you come from, art is the safest place you can truly express yourself unabashedly. I feel so proud of this collection and am extremely grateful to Area Environments for this opportunity and platform to showcase my work to a new audience. Aadil Abedi, aadilabedi.com; Area Environments, areaenvironments.com