Student Profile: Hamda, Year 10

Our profile this week is Hamda, a student in Year 10 who is in her first year of IGCSE. Below Hamda gives us an introduction to herself and her passion for art:

My name is Hamda and I am currently half way through my first year of my IGCSEs. It has almost been a decade of studying at BIS Abu Dhabi and I couldn’t be happier.

Art has been something I have dreamt of taking since I was in Primary School. My parents have been my support since day one. Years back, I would run up to my father to show him my masterpiece, where I had coloured outside of the lines and drawn the Sun on the corner of the page. He would constantly have the same bright smile on his face, full of pride and delight. That, was the reason I kept drawing.

Art transposes something unique from your own mind into reality, or into the minds of others through a medium. It allows you to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns and make connections. It has been and still is my safe haven. As Thomas Merton once said, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

Drawing is one of my favourite ways of creating art, I became ecstatic as soon as I heard that we were drawing for our mid-year exams. After completing the tonal piece, I had decided to take a step further and go that extra mile, challenging myself to exceed the expectations. I began painting an idea I had in my head after our class visit to Manarat Al Saadiyat.

Lamya Gargash, an Emirati photographer, had caught my attention with her solo exhibition. Through the Looking Glass examines identity, perception and acceptance in modern day society. This instantly reminded me of a childhood book I used to read repeatedly. Max Lucado tells a truth a child is never too young to hear in his book "You Are Special". It speaks of Punchinello, the wooden Wemmick who constantly degrades himself due to what others say. Every day the small wooden people would stick gold stars or grey dots on one another. If one had golden stars, they were loved and adored by society. On the other hand, if one had grey dots, they'd be ignored and looked down on. This strongly linked to the concept of the photographer's work, where we attempt to battle the world's impossible expectations. Therefore, I began drawing links and developing my ideas, until I created my final piece.

I painted my little brother, Saeed. I stuck golden stars on his face and attempted to capture emotions of displeasure and discontent. My goal was to showcase conflicting emotions. Although he had golden stars and was positively spoken of by society, he didn’t let their judgements consume him. This was the idea I was aiming to put forward. Words and standards can be challenging, but don’t let them be your barrier, or even devalue you.

I have learnt a lot so far, from new techniques with the help of my fellow students, friends and family, to learning by practising on my own. Art has become the lesson I look forward to at the end of a long day, the forty-five minutes where I could let my imagination and creativity flow naturally, where I am engulfed in this world of bliss and individuality. My teacher plays a key role in this, Ms Funnell; never failing to support, guide and reach the heart of every one of her students.

Drawing links and creating new ideas with inspiration from bigger artists is one of many things I love about Art. It’s a special way of communicating with others, so if art is a language you speak, speak it with passion. The ability to think and communicate in visual terms makes you special. If you're able to do that, you've unlocked a door full of new perspectives and opportunities.

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Hamda, Year 10

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